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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0005-0021

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-06-26

Wednesday June 26th: 1771.

Yesterday I had a good deal of Conversation with Judge Trowbridge. He seems alarmed about the Powers of the Court of Probate. He says if Judge Danforth was to die Tomorrow, and the Governor was to offer that Place to him, he would not take it, because he thinks it ought always to be given to some Judge of the Inferiour Court, and then, some one Lawyer might be found in each County who would take { 42 } a Seat upon the Inferiour Bench, if he could be made a Judge of Probate at the same Time. He says he is utterly against Foster Hutchinsons holding the Probate Office in Boston, if he takes his Place upon the Superior Bench—and if the Governor is an integral Part, of the Court of Probate, the Supreme ordinary, i.e. if he is not, with the Members of the Council, only Primus inter Pares but has a Negative upon all their Decrees as Governor Shirley, Govr. Bernard and the late Secretary, were of Opinion, he thinks we may be in great Danger from the Court of Probate, and Judge Russell always opposed every Attempt to extend the Power of the Court of Probate.—He used to say We might have Bishops here, and the Court of Probate might get into their Hands, and therefore We ought to be upon our Guard.

Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0001-0005-0022

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1771-06-28

Fryday June 28th. 1771.

At York. Yesterday I spent in Walking, one Way and another, to view the Town. I find that Walking serves me much. It sets my Blood in Motion much more than Riding.
Had some Conversation this Week with Chadburn of Berwick. He says, that Jo. Lee came to him, on the Election day Morning, and said “I know you are a peaceable Man. Why cant you vote for a few Gentlemen who would be agreable to the Governor and then perhaps some Gentlemen may not be negatived who would be agreable to you. Why cant you promote a Coalition?” Chadburn answered, I dont know who would be agreable to the Governor. I have not had a List.—Lee then mentioned Mr. Ropes, Lt. Govr. Oliver, and some of the Judges.—Why cant you choose some of those old Statesmen, who have [been] long and intimately acquainted with the Policy of the Province? &c.— Thus the Governors Emissaries are busy—instilling, insinuating, their Notions, and Principles, &c.
Had a little Chat this Week with Coll. Sparhawk of Kittery. He says “Now you are come away, they are become peaceable. You kept up a shocking Clamour while you was there.”—This he said laughing, but there was rather too much Truth in it, to be made a Jest.—“They do you the Justice to say that no Man ever spoke more freely, than you did, and in Opposition to the rising Sun. But in order to take off from your Virtue, they say there is some private Pique between the Governor and you.”—I told him there was none. He had always treated me well personally. If I had been actuated by private Pique, I would not have left the general Court but I would have remained there on Purpose to plague him. I could at least have been a Thorn in his Side—&c. But { 43 } that I had been fully convinced in my own Mind these 10 Years that he was determined to raise himself and family, at all Hazards, and even on the Ruins of the Province, and that I had uniformly expressed that Opinion these 10 Years.
Sparhawk mentioned the Intrepidity of Sam Adams, a Man he says of great Sensibility, of tender Nerves, and harrased, dependant, in their Power. Yet he had born up against all—it must have penetrated him very deeply, &c.
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/