A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close
-
The Adams Papers Digital Edition is undergoing active maintenance while we work on improvements to the system. You may experience slow performance or the inability to access content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will endeavor to return to full capabilities as soon as possible.

Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-22

22d.

At about 9 this morning, Mr. Broome, and Mr. Brush, left us and set out to return to New-Haven. Breakfasted with Coll. Wadsworth, who afterwards went with us three or four miles out of town, to shew us his farm. We saw there a couple of the largest oxen I ever beheld; and a number more uncommonly stout. This place is celebrated over the Continent for producing exceeding fine oxen, and it furnishes the New York and Boston markets with great quantities of Beef. The Coll. shew us his fields of grain and of grass, and his orchards. We return'd a little before noon: and left the Coll. for a short time. I went into a bookseller's shop, and there found a new publication, called the Conquest of Canaan, an american epic Poem, in eleven books, by Mr. T. Dwight. It is but lately that it was printed, and I have heard a very high Character of it, which induced me, to purchase it.1 Mr. Wadsworth was so kind as to give me a copy of McFingal,2 and these are the two pieces in which americans have endeavour'd most to soar as high, as European bards. McFingal is generally agreed to be equal, if not superior to Hudibras. Of the serious poem, no criticism has appeared; owing I suppose, to its being so lately publish'd.
{ 311 }
I met just before dinner with my old fellow scholar, Deane, who came from Weathersfield this morning. I was told he was in New London: had I known he was at Weathersfield, I should have stop'd there, on purpose to see him. For there is nothing I think more shameful, than to forget our old acquaintance. We all dined with Coll. Wadsworth, and at about 4 Mr. Chaumont, and myself, left them, and set away from the inn, about half an hour, afterwards. We rode only 16 miles this afternoon, to Captain Cox's tavern and it was after 9 in the evening when we got there. We could travel, but slowly, as the weather though cloudy, was very warm, and the horses were somewhat galled.
1. JQA's copy, Hartford, 1785, is at MQA. Timothy Dwight was minister at Greenfield Hill, Conn., at this time and was president of Yale from 1795 to 1817. The Conquest of Canäan, Dwight's first important literary production, is filled with allusions to contemporary persons and events (Dexter, Yale Graduates, 3:321–333).
2. JQA's copy has not been found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-23

23d.

It was almost seven o'clock before we got under way this morning. We rode about 10 miles and then cross'd Connecticut River; which serves there as a boundary between that State and Massachusetts.1 Two miles after we had cross'd the river we came to Springfield. We breakfasted there, and stopp'd about an hour; after which we proceeded on our Journey about 14 miles further before dinner. The mistress of the tavern where we dined, told me my name, and said she knew me from my resemblance to my father who had passed several times this way.2 At 4 o'clock we again set out, and found the roads so very bad, that it was almost ten before we got to <East Chester> Marlborough3 which was only 12 miles. Hills and rocks seem to have been the only things we have this day come across. I cannot recommend the roads of Massachusetts as a model.
1. JQA is, of course, mistaken.
2. Possibly JQA dined at Scott's Tavern in Palmer, fifteen miles from Springfield, whose owner and wife had been described as “great Patriots” by JA when he lodged there in Nov. 1774 (Fleet's Pocket Almanack and Massachusetts Register, 1786; JA, Diary and Autobiography, 2:160).
3. Neither location is correct; they probably stayed in either Western [now Warren] or Brookfield, Mass., that night.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-24

24th.

One of the breast plates was broke, and we were obliged to send it a mile and half to be mended this morning, before we { 312 } could proceed on our journey; so it was past eight when we left our tavern. Before one, we came to a very good inn: the best I think, that we have found on the road except Mr. Hall's. We had come 16 miles without stopping, and therefore we concluded to dine there. Between 3 and 4 we went again, and rode about 15 miles to1 where we arrived at about 8, in the Evening; our roads have been much better and the weather more agreeable than what we have had in general since we left N. York. We are now only 42 miles from Boston, and hope to get there to-morrow; as we are told the roads are upon the whole pretty good.
1. Left blank in MS; JQA was probably in Shrewsbury, Mass.
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/