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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


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.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-25

Thursday. August 25th. 1785.

St. Louis's day, a great holiday all over France, because it is the fête of their king's patron. Dupré called me up at three o'clock, being determined that we should not set out too late to day. Before 4. we were in the carriage, and rode 14 miles to Marlborough before 9. We breakfasted there; and dined at Waltham, which is 12 miles further. It was almost 5 when we finally set off upon our last Stage; and we got into Boston at about 9 o'clock; we first went to Bracket's tavern, but there was not a vacant apartment in the house. We then went to Mrs. Kilby's in State Street, where we found one chamber for us both. We were obliged to take up with this for the present: for we were extremely fatigued, both of us: and could not think of seeking any further at 10 o'clock at night.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-26

26th.

A tous les coeurs bien nés que la patrie est chere

Qu'avec ravissement je revois ce séjour.1

No person who has not experienced it can conceive how much pleasure there is in returning to our Country after an absence of 6 years especially when it was left at the time of life, that I did, when I went last to Europe. The most trifling objects now appear interesting to me: in the morning I went to see my uncle Smith, but he was not at home. I saw my aunt2 and Mr. Smith,3 who went with me to the Treasury office, where I found my uncle Cranch.4 I was introduced to a number of gentlemen, and met several of my old acquaintances. I delivered a Letter to Mr. { 313 } Breck5 from the Marquis. Dined at Mr. Cranch's lodgings, where I found my Cousins Betsey6 and Lucy. In the afternoon they went to Cambridge, and I followed them there with Mr. Smith. At College I met my Cousin, and brother Charles, who entered about 6 weeks agone. We spent an hour with them, and were then obliged to return to Boston. I lodged at Deacon Smith's.
I shall not attempt to describe the different Sensations I experienced in meeting after so long an absence, the friends of my childhood, and a number of my nearest and dearest relations. This day will be forever too deeply rooted in my Memory, to require any written account of it. It has been one of the happiest I ever knew.
1. Voltaire, Tancrède, Act III, scene i (Oeuvres complètes de Voltaire, 72 vols., Kehl, Germany, 1784–1801, 4:391).
2. Elizabeth Storer Smith (1726–1786), wife of Isaac Smith Sr., and aunt of AA.
3. William Smith (1755–1816), a Boston merchant and son of Isaac Smith Sr.
4. Richard Cranch (1726–1811) married Mary Smith, the sister of AA, in 1762. Cranch was at this time employed in the commonwealth's treasury office in Boston.
5. Samuel Breck Sr., a prominent Boston merchant, maritime agent of Louis XVI, and representative of the town in the legislature, 1782–1788 (NEHGR, 17:180 [April 1863]).
6. Elizabeth Cranch (1763–1811), called Betsy by her family, was the daughter of Richard and Mary (Smith) Cranch, and married Jacob Norton, minister at Weymouth, in 1789.
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/