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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0006-0002

Author: Aitken, Robert
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-12-08

[Robert Aitken's Bill for Books]1

John Adams Esqr. Bought of R. Aitken        
1775          
Decr. 8   To 3 red Memdm. books @ 1/32     3   9  
  To 2 Sticks Sealing wax 1/     2    
  To Marshall Saxe's Reveries I paid to Mrs. Hall for you     13    
  <To 1 Sett political Disquisitions 3 Vols.>   <1>   <10>   <>  
    0   18   9  
[signed] Frans: Sellers
N.B. I am not certain whither it was the Political Disquisitions or some other book you had from me, when you got them you proposed paying me but for want of Change at that time, it was not done, & I omitted setting any of your Accot. down in my book. I therefore beg you will set the matter right.
[signed] R. Aitken
.3
1. M-Ar: vol. 210.
2. These are doubtless the three booklets in red-brown leather covers (D/JA/23–25) in which, for the most part, JA kept his Diary from Sept. 1775 to Sept. 1776.
3. James Burgh, author of Political Disquisitions ..., London, 1774–1775, had already presented to JA an inscribed set of the first two volumes of this work critical of British political institutions. The inscription is dated 7 March 1774. When the third volume was published in the following year, Burgh sent JA a complete set, inscribing this also. Both sets survive in the Boston Public Library. See JA to Burgh, 28 Dec. 1774 (Adams Papers, an incomplete draft; printed in JA, Works, 9:350–352).

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0006-0003

Author: Smith, Daniel
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1775-12-08

[Daniel Smith's Bill for Entertainment.]1

Jno. Adams     Dr.  
      s   d  
1775   To Club Venison Dinner     10   10  
  2 Bottles Cyder     2    
    S   12   10  
[signed] Danl. Smith
1. M-Ar: vol. 210. Date supplied from an entry in JA's Account with Massachusetts, Aug.–Dec. 1775, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0005-0007-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1775-12-09

1775. Decr. 9th.1

Having Yesterday as[ked and] obtained Leave of Congress to go home, this Morning I mounted, with my own Servant only, about { 224 } twelve O Clock, and reached the red Lyon about two where I dine. The Roads very miry and dirty, the Weather pleasant, and not cold.2
1. This is the first regular entry since 29 Oct. in JA's Diary. Why he failed to keep a record of either personal or congressional affairs during the last six weeks he attended Congress is unexplained except by the number of committees on which he sat and the amount of writing that some of them, notably the so-called naval committee, required. His correspondence also fell off. On 25 Nov. he wrote to Mercy Warren:
“I wish it was in my Power to write to you oftener than I do, but I am really engaged in constant Business [from] seven to ten in the Morning in Committee, from ten to four in Congress and from Six to Ten again in Committee. Our Assembly is scarcly numerous enough for the Business. Every Body is engaged all Day in Congress and all the Morning and evening in Committees” (Adams Papers).
In respect to JA's activities in Congress the gap in the Diary is at least partially supplied by his Autobiography, which states that he sought a leave at this time because he was “worn down with long and uninterrupted Labour.”
2. JA's itinerary and expenses on this return trip from Philadelphia are recorded in meticulous detail in his Account with Massachusetts, Aug.-Dec. 1775, q.v. above. He arrived in Braintree on 21 December.
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/