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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


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

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-12

1774. Septr. 12. Monday.

Attended my Duty on the Committee, untill one O Clock, and then went with my Colleagues and Messrs. Thompson and Mifflin to the Falls of Schuylkill, and viewed the Museum at Fort St. Davids, a great { 133 } Collection of Curiosities.1 Returned and dined with Mr. Dickinson at his Seat at Fair Hill, with his Lady, Mrs. Thompson, Miss Norris and Miss Harrison. Mr. Dickinson has a fine Seat, a beautyfull Prospect, of the City, the River and the Country—fine Gardens, and a very grand Library. The most of his Books, were collected by Mr. Norris, once Speaker of the House here, father of Mrs. Dickinson.2 Mr. Dickinson is a very modest Man, and very ingenious, as well as agreable. He has an excellent Heart, and the Cause of his Country lies near it. He is full and clear for allowing to Parliament, the Regulation of Trade, upon Principles of Necessity and the mutual Interest of both Countries.
1. The Society of Fort St. David was one of several early “fishing companies” or clubs, with a house near the Falls of Schuylkill. Its site and pre-Revolutionary “Museum,” which consisted principally of Indian antiquities, are described in a letter written in 1830 and printed in PMHB 21:417–418 (Oct. 1897).
2. There is an illustrated account of Fairhill, the Norris-Dickinson villa, in Thompson Westcott, The Historic Mansions and Buildings of Philadelphia, Phila., 1877, p. 481 ff. The estate lay between the Frankford and Germantown Roads, north of the city. R. T. Paine, who was one of the party, described it as “a convenient, decent, elegant Philosophical Rural Retreat” (Diary, MHi, 12 Sept. 1774).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-13

1774. Septr. 13. Tuesday.

Attended my Duty all Day, on the Sub Committee. Agreed on a Report.1
1. and 2. Phil. and Mary. C. 10. ss. 7.2
1. To the full committee on stating the rights of the Colonies, &c. See the following entry and note 2 there.
2. The statute cited in this detached note is “An Acte wherby certayne Offences bee made Tresons,” 1554–1555, of which the 7th section is a “General Saving” or exemption: “Saving to every P[er]son and P[er]sones Bodyes Politike and Corporate their heires and successours, other then Thoffendours and their heires and suche P[er]son and P[er]sons as claime to any of their uses, all suche Rightes Titles Interestes Possessions [&c], whiche they or any of them shall have at the day of the committing suche Treasons or at any tyme afore, in as large and ample maner as yf this Acte hadd never bene hadd nor made” (The Statutes of the Realm, London, 1810–1828, 4:257). Members of the first Continental Congress could hardly help exhibiting some interest in the British statutes relating to treason.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0016

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-14

1774. Sept. 14. Wednesday.

Visited Mr. Gadsden, Mr. Deane, Coll. Dyer, &c. at their Lodgings. Gadsden is violent against allowing to Parliament any Power of regulating Trade, or allowing that they have any Thing to do with Us.— Power of regulating Trade he says, is Power of ruining us—as bad as acknowledging them a Supream Legislative, in all Cases whatsoever. { 134 } A Right of regulating Trade is a Right of Legislation, and a Right of Legislation in one Case, is a Right in all.—This I deny.1
Attended the Congress and Committee all the forenoon.2 Dined with Dr. Cox. Dr. Morgan, Dr. Rush, Mr. Bayard, old Mr. Smith dined with us. Dr. Rush lives upon Water Street and has from the Windows of his back Room and Chamber, a fine Prospect of Delaware River, and of New Jersey beyond it. The Gentlemen entertained us, with Absurdities in the Laws of Pensylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. This I find is a genteel Topic of Conversation here.—A mighty Feast again, nothing less than the very best of Claret, Madeira, and Burgundy. Melons, fine beyond description, and Pears and Peaches as excellent.
This Day Mr. Chase introduced to us, a Mr. Carrell [Carroll] of Anapolis, a very sensible Gentleman, a Roman catholic, and of the first Fortune in America. His Income is Ten thousand Pounds sterling a Year, now, will be fourteen in two or 3 years, they say, besides his father has a vast Estate, which will be his, after his father.
1. That is, presumably, Gadsden denies it (Parliament's right of legislating for the Colonies in any case whatever). CFA supplied quotation marks around the last three sentences in this paragraph (JA, Works, 2:379).
2. Samuel Ward's Diary is more informative: “14th. The Sub-Committee met, and reported to the great Committee, who appointed next morning for the consideration of the report [on stating the rights of the Colonies]. A SubCommittee appointed to state the infringements of our rights” (Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 1:30). On the same day, in Congress: “The delegates from the Province of Massachusetts-bay, agreeable to a request from the joint committees of every town & district in the county of Middlesex ... communicated to the Congress the proceedings of those committees at Concord, on the 30th & 31st days of August last, which were read” (JCC, 1:31). The Middlesex Resolves were printed as a broadside (Ford, Massachusetts Broadsides, No. 1702; Evans 13439); text also available in Force, Archives, 1:750–752.
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/