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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0005-0013

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-06-13

1771. Thurdsday June 13th.

Remarkable, the Change of Thoughts, and feelings, and Reasonings which are occasioned by a Change of Objects. A Man is known by his { 34 } Company, and evil Communications corrupt good Manners. “Man is a Social Creature and his Passions, his feelings, his Imaginations are contagious.” We receive a Tincture of the Characters of those we converse with.
Stopped at Mr. Putnams, and at the Court House, went in and bowed to the Court and shook Hands with the Bar, said How d'ye, and came off. Dined at Coll. Williams's, drank Tea at Munns, with Dr. Cooper and his Lady, Captn. Jona. Freeman and his Lady and Mr. Nat. Barrett and his Lady, who were upon their Return from a Tour to Lancaster.
Rode this day from Worcester to Munns in Company with one Green of Leicester, who was very social, and good Company, an honest, clever Man. By him I learn that Thomas Faxon of Braintree, has removed with his Family, to Leicester, and hired an House near the Meeting House. And I met Joseph Crane to day in Marlborough, going to Rutland. He is about removing his Family there. But I find that People in Rutland, and Leicester and Worcester, &c. are more disposed to emigrate still farther into the Wilderness, than the Inhabitants of the old Towns.
I hear much to day and Yesterday of the Harmony prevailing between the Governor and the House. Cushing is unanimous Commissary, not negatived, and Goldthwait is Truckmaster. Behold how good and pleasant it is, for Brethren to dwell together in Unity. It seems to be forgotten entirely, by what means Hutchinson procured the Government—by his Friendship for Bernard, and by supporting and countenancing all Bernards Measures, and the Commissioners and Army and Navy, and Revenue, and every other Thing we complain of.
I read to day an Address from the Convention of Ministers, and from the Clergy in the northern Part of the County of Hampshire and from the Town of Almesbury [Amesbury], all conceived in very high Terms, of Respect and Confidence and Affection.1 Posterity will scarcely find it possible, to form a just Idea of this Gentlemans Character. But if this wretched Journal should ever be read, by my own Family, let them know that there was upon the Scene of Action with Mr. Hutchinson, one determined Enemy to those Principles and that Political System to which alone he owes his own and his Family's late Advancement—one who thinks that his Character and Conduct have been the Cause of laying a Foundation for perpetual Discontent and Uneasiness between Britain and the Colonies, of perpetual Struggles of one Party for Wealth and Power at the Expence of the Liberties of this Country, and of perpetual Contention and Opposition in the other Party to { 35 } preserve them, and that this Contention will never be fully terminated but by Warrs, and Confusions and Carnage. Caesar, by destroying the Roman Republic, made himself perpetual Dictator, Hutchinson, by countenancing and supporting a System of Corruption and all Tyranny, has made himself Governor—and the mad Idolatry of the People, always the surest Instruments of their own Servitude, laid prostrate at the Feet of both. With great Anxiety, and Hazard, with continual Application to Business, with loss of Health, Reputation, Profit, and as fair Prospects and Opportunities of Advancement, as others who have greedily embraced them, I have for 10 Years together invariably opposed this System, and its fautors. It has prevailed in some Measure, and the People are now worshipping the Authors and Abetters of it, and despizing, insulting, and abusing, the Opposers of it.—Edward and Alfred

closed their long Glories with a Sigh to find

th' unwilling Gratitude of base Mankind.

As I came over Sudbury Causey, I saw a Chaplain of one of the Kings Ships fishing in the River, a thick fat Man, with rosy Cheeks and black Eyes. At Night he came in with his fish. I was in the Yard and he spoke to me, and told me the News.—The Governor gave a very elegant Entertainment to the Gentlemen of the Army and Navy and Revenue, and Mrs. Gambier in the Evening a very elegant Ball—as elegant a cold Collation as perhaps you ever see—all in figures &c. &c.&c.
Read this days Paper.2 The melodious Harmony, the perfect Concords, the entire Confidence and Affection, that seems to be restored greatly surprizes me. Will it be lasting. I believe there is no Man in so curious a Situation as I am. I am for what I can see, quite left alone, in the World.
1. The three addresses mentioned here, with Hutchinson's answers, are all printed in the Boston Evening Post, 3 June 1771.
2. The Boston News Letter, which printed this day the cordial answer of the Council to the Governor's address to both houses at the opening of the session, together with a detailed report of the military exercises and the dinner “at the charge of the Province” in honor of the King's 34th birthday, 4 June.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0005-0014

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-06-14

1771. Fryday June 14.

A fine Morning.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0005-0015

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-06-17

Monday. June 17th. 1771.1

Sat out upon the Eastern Circuit. Stopped at Boston, at my Office, { 36 } and no where else. Came over Charlestown Ferry and Penny Ferry, and dined at Kettles in Maiden, by the Meeting House. Kettle is a D[eputy] Sherriff. The Meeting House is Mr. Thatchers.
I mounted my Horse and rode to Boston in a Cloth Coat and Waiscoat, but was much pinched with a cold, raw, harsh, N.E. Wind. At Boston I put on a thick Flannel Shirt, and that made me comfortable, and no more—So cold am I or so cold is the Weather, 17th. June.
Overtook Judge Cushing in his old Curricle and 2 lean Horses, and Dick his Negro at his Right Hand driving the Curricle. This is the Way of travelling in 1771. A Judge of the Circuits, a Judge of the Superiour Court, a Judge of the Kings Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer for the Province, travells, with a Pair of wretched old Jades of Horses, in a wretched old Dung Cart of a Curricle, and a Negro, on the same seat with him, driving.—But we shall have more glorious Times anon—When the Sterling Salaries are ordered out of the Revenue, to the Judges &c., as many most ardently wish—and the Judges themselves, among the rest I suppose. Stopped at Martins in Lynn with J. Cushing, oated, and drank a Glass of Wine—And heard him sigh and groan the Sighs and Groans of 77, tho he is yet active. He conversed in his usual, hinting, insinuating, doubting, scrupling Strain.
Rode with King a D. Sherriff who came out to meet the Judges, into Salem, put up at Goodhues. The Negro that took my Horse soon began to open his Heart.—He did not like the People of Salem, wanted to be sold to Captn. John Dean of Boston. He earned 2 Dollars in a forenoon, and did all he could to give Satisfaction. But his Mistress was cross, and said he did not earn Salt to his Porridge, &c. and would not find him Cloaths &c.
Thus I find Discontents in all Men. The Black thinks his Merit rewarded with Ingratitude, and so does the white. The Black estimates his own Worth, and the Merit of his Services higher than any Body else. So does the White. This flattering, fond Opinion of himself, is found in every Man.
I have hurt myself to day, by taking cold in the forenoon and by drinking too much Wine, at Kettles and at Martins. I drank 1/2 Pint at Kettles and 2 Glasses at Martins.
Just after I had drank Tea, and got my Fire made in my Chamber, my old Neighbour Jo. Barell came and lodged at Goodhues in the same Chamber with me. His Grief is intense indeed. He spent the whole Evening and a long Time after we got to Bed in lamenting the Loss of his Wife, in enumerating her Excellencies, &c.2 Heartily wishes himself with her. Would have been very glad to have gone with her. He { 37 } married from pure Regard, utterly vs. the Will of his Mother and all his Friends because she was poor—but she made him happy. She was the best of Women. The World has lost all its Charms to him. He never shall be happy but in another Wife, and the Chances are so much vs. his getting so good an one, that his Hopes are faint. He never will marry for Money. His Mother and sister shall never illtreat another Wife. His Children shall never be slighted. He would never part with his Children for a Thousand Indies. He never would have a Woman that should make them an Objection. He had tryed his Wife in Prosperity And Adversity, she had made him happy in both. Just as he had got over all his Difficulties, and Providence smiled upon his Business and affairs, she was taken from him.—This Killing of Wives Mr. Adams is a dreadfull Thing. There is not an Hour but I think of her. I wish I was with her. I'd run the risque out this Moment. I never dined from her 3 Times in 6 years and 9 months, except on her Washing days. I never spent 3 Evenings from her in the whole Time. I am made for that sort of Life. She begged of me, but just before she dyed, to be married again immediately. She knew I must be unhappy she said, without a Wife to take Care of me. She beckoned to me, but a few Minutes before she died, when her Hands were as cold as clods. She whispered to me—I love you now—if I could but carry you and the Children with me I should go rejoicing.—
In this eloquent Strain of Grief did he run on. Millions of Thoughts, did this Conversation occasion me. I thought I should have had no Sleep all night—however I got to sleep and slept well.
1. First entry in “Paper book No. 18” (our D/JA/18), a stitched gathering of leaves containing entries through 5 July 1771 and a date heading but no entry for 6 July.
2. CFA quotes an obituary notice of Anna, wife of Joseph Barrell, from the Boston Gazette, 22 April 1771 (JA, Works, 2:280, note).
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, 2018.