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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-02

2d.

Remain'd at home all the morning, writing Letters1 for Europe, as the british Packet is to sail the day after tomorrow. Dined with Doctor Crosby, and spent the evening with Mr. Searle. Return'd at about 9 o'clock.
{ 297 }
1. JQA to AA2, 1–8 Aug. (Adams Papers), is the only extant letter written (in part) on this date.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-03

3d.

Was all the morning writing for the Packet.1 Dined with the Delegates from Virginia. Coll. Monroe, was a little indisposed: he and Mr. Hardy, intend in a short time to take a tour to Boston. In the afternoon I carried my Letters to Mr. Church, who sails in the packet tomorrow morning. I then went and visited Mr. Gerry and Mr. King. There, was a number of persons at Mrs. Mercer's. Two Miss Bostwick's and Miss Alsop.2 Miss Mercer shew me, some lines intended as a Satire upon the young Ladies in the City, but the receipt for a wife,3 has neither wit, pleasantry, nor truth, in short it is not worth speaking of. Yet it has turn'd me poetaster. I am trying to see if I can say something not so bad in the same way. And although I see I have no talent at-all at versifying, yet like all fathers, I have a partiality for my own offspring however ugly they may be.
1. Probably JQA to JA, 3 Aug. (Adams Papers).
2. Undoubtedly Mary Alsop, daughter of New York merchant and Continental Congress delegate John Alsop; she married Rufus King the following year (The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King: Comprising His Letters, Private and Official, His Public Documents, and His Speeches, ed. Charles R. King, 6 vols., 1894–1900, 1:130–131; JQA to AA2, 1–8 Aug., Adams Papers).
3. Parts of this poem are quoted in JQA's letter to AA2, 1–8 Aug. (Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-04

4th.

The british Packet sailed at about 10, in the morning. The weather was rainy, so I did not go out till almost noon. I then went with Mr. Harrison, and was by him introduced to Mrs. Swift and Miss Riché, from Philadelphia. Dined at Mr. Osgood in a pretty large Company. Young Mr. van Berkel said his Sister had arrived, somewhat sooner than he expected she would. The minister is gone to Philadelphia, to meet her, and she is expected here to-morrow or the next day. I made a very foolish mistake at dinner. At about 6 ½ in the evening, I went to drink tea with Mrs. Sears. There was a numerous Company. Miss Riché sung and Miss Eccles play'd on the harpsicord: the first sings with much grace, though she has not a clear nor a strong voice; and what I admire her for, is that she sings without requiring to be { 298 } urged as some Ladies do: for I prefer hearing a person sing ill if it is requested, than to hear a good song extorted from any one. “One fond kiss before we part” is a favourite song with Miss R. and she sung one of her own Composition, the words of which appeared very pretty. Miss Eccles, plays the best on the harpsichord, of any Lady in Town: I don't know of ever having heard any person who consider'd music only as a diversion, perform better. She has certainly acquired great perfection in the art.
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/