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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


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.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-27

27th.

Brother Charles came to town this morning. I paid a number of visits and dined, at Deacon Smith's, with Mr. Otis1 and his family. At about 4 o'clock I mounted on horseback: and Mr. Chaumont in his Chaise with Mr. Toscan the french Consul; we went out and stopp'd first at Mr. Swan's2 house in Dorchester, where the former governor Mr. Hancock3 lives, at present. He is much afflicted with the gout, and has it at this time. After spending about half an hour with him We went to Mr. Hichborne's4 Summer seat and drank tea. We found there the lieutenant governor5 with his Lady, and Mr. and Mrs. Swan. I left the Consul and Mr. Chaumont, and went as far as Genl. Warren's6 at Milton. He introduced me to his four sons, one of whom, Charles, is to sail in a few days for Europe: he means to spend the Winter at Lisbon, where his brother Winslow is: But I fear very much he will never reach Europe, I don't know that I ever saw a person look more wretchedly. He has been consumptive for a long time, and went last fall to the West Indies, where he recover'd his health in some measure, but lost it again by return• { 314 } ing here in the spring. If he lives to reach Lisbon, I hope the Climate of Europe, which is so much better than that of St. Domingo, will restore him entirely.7 I left Milton between 7 and 8 and before I got to Mr. Cranch's, I again stopp'd at my uncle Adams's,8 and there saw my aged Grandmother,9 who enquired much after my Parents, and wishes them to return. I at length arrived at the end of my journey, at about 9 o'clock, and was welcomed by my aunt;10 I also found Mr. Tyler11 there and was introduced to him.
1. Samuel Allyne Otis, a Boston merchant and son-in-law of Deacon Isaac Smith (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 14:471–480).
2. James Swan, a Boston merchant and speculator, and Revolutionary officer (DAB).
3. John Hancock was governor of Massachusetts (except for the years 1785–1787) from 1780 to 1793 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 13:416–446).
4. Benjamin Hichborn, Boston lawyer and Revolutionary officer, was well known to JA as carrier of his letters that were intercepted by the British (same, 17:36–44; JA, Papers, 3:90, 255–257).
5. Thomas Cushing, a moderate revolutionary who lost his place in the congress, was lieutenant governor, 1780–1788 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 11:377–395).
6. James Warren, who served briefly as paymaster general in the Continental Army and major general in the militia, was on the Navy Board, 1777–1782, and was in and out of Massachusetts politics throughout his life (same, 11:584–606).
7. Charles died in Spain in November. Winslow, for whom JA was to seek an appointment as consul in Portugal, was a merchant in Lisbon at this time; he returned permanently to America later in the year (Mrs. Washington A. Roebling, Richard Warren of the Mayflower and Some of His Descendants, Boston, 1901, p. 28; Winslow Warren to JQA, 13 July 1784; JA to John Jay, 3 Dec. 1785, LbC, Adams Papers).
8. Peter Boylston Adams (1738–1823), JA's younger brother, a militia captain and Braintree officeholder.
9. Mrs. John Hall (1709–1797), formerly Susanna Boylston Adams, who lived with her son Peter Boylston after the death of her second husband in 1780 (Adams Family Correspondence, 4:3).
10. Mary (Smith) Cranch (1741–1811), AA's sister and wife of Richard Cranch.
11. Royall Tyler, a Braintree lawyer and later an important early playwright and novelist. Tyler had been courting AA2 before her departure for Europe with AA in 1784. Subsequently the romance cooled, owing to Tyler's failure to answer her letters and to stories about his behavior sent to the Adamses by Mary Cranch, in whose house Tyler lived. For a full account, see JA, Earliest Diary, p. 18–30.
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/