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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0001-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1779-11-12

1779 November Friday 12th.

This Morning at about 11 o clock I took leave of my Mamma, my Sister, and Brother Tommy,1 and went to Boston with Mr. Thaxter,2 in order to go on board the Frigate the Sensible of 28 twelve Pounders. We arrived at Boston at about 1 o clock; dined { 2 } at my uncle Smiths',3 we expected to go on board in the afternoon but We could not conveniently—till to morrow.
1. It was not until 30 July 1784 that JQA next saw AA and AA2, when he met them in London en route to France, where his father, JA, was serving as a commissioner to negotiate treaties of amity and commerce with various European and African nations. JQA did not see TBA again until his return to America in 1785 (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:167–169).
2. John Thaxter Jr. (1755–1791), a second cousin to JQA through the marriage of AA's aunt Anna Quincy. After graduation from college he had studied law in JA's office, served as tutor to the Adams boys, and now accompanied JA to Europe as his private secretary. Thaxter returned to America in 1783 after the signing of the Definitive Treaty with Great Britain and settled in Haverhill, Mass., where he practiced law (same, 2:402). JQA renewed his friendship with Thaxter there in late 1785, when he came to live with his uncle and aunt, Rev. John and Elizabeth (Smith) Shaw, while preparing himself for admission to Harvard in the spring of 1786.
3. JQA did not carefully distinguish between his uncles and great-uncles, aunts and great-aunts, but the person referred to here is his great-uncle Isaac Smith Sr. (1719–1787), a Boston merchant and uncle of AA. A sketch and portrait of Smith appear in Adams Family Correspondence, 2:x–xi and facing 103.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0001-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1779-11-13

Saturday 13th.

To day at about 1 o clock Pappa, and my Brother Charles,1 came to town, and at about 5 o clock we all <went> came on board and took our lodgings. My Brother Charles is to lodge with My Pappa and I with Mr. Thaxter.
1. Immediately after Charles' name, JQA placed a superscript number, the first of a series following the names of those referred to in the entries of 13–15 and 20 Nov. Such numbers, which have been deleted from this edition, were apparently used as a counting device for the index JQA constructed on the back cover of the Diary booklet. See after the entry for 31 Dec. (below). Unlike most indexers, however, JQA was interested in the frequency with which a name appeared rather than its location in the Diary booklet.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0001-0001-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1779-11-14

Sunday 14th.

This morning a great number of Gentlemen came on board, and amongst others Col Johonnot,1 with a son,2 of his who is a going to France with us. There are a great number of Passengers and the Frigate is very well mann'd. Col Johonnot introduced me to his son, with whom I hope I shall form, an acquaintance, which will be very agreable to me and <I hope> I shall endeavour to make myself agreable to him. This afternoon Captn. Tucker,3 came on board, and told us that he saw a day or two agone two ships and a brig off Cape Ann: we were very glad he told us of it, so that now we can take proper Measure for shunning them.
{ 3 }
1. Col. Gabriel Johonnot, grandson of a French Huguenot, was a Boston merchant prominent in boycott activities before the Boston Tea Party. During the Revolution he served as lieutenant colonel in the 14th Regiment of the Continental Army (NEHGR, 7 [1853]: 141–142; 44 [1890]: 57).
2. Samuel Cooper Johonnot, usually referred to in JQA's Diary entries as “Sammy,” was being sent to Europe for schooling, first at Passy and later at Geneva. After graduation from Harvard, he studied law under James Sullivan and began a practice in Portland, Maine, in 1789, but returned to Boston in 1791. From there he went to Demerara, British Guiana (now Georgetown, Guyana), upon what JQA termed “a speculation,” but soon became U.S. consul there, where he later died (same, 7 [1853]: 141–142; 22 [1868]: 9; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:418; JQA, Diary, 3 April 1791).
3. Samuel Tucker, captain of the Continental frigate Boston, the ship which carried JA and JQA to France in Feb. 1778 on JA's first mission to Europe (DAB).
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.