A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
close

Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1


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.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0010-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-08-28

28th.

Attended Mr. Wibird's1 meeting forenoon, and afternoon. His voice and look was as familiar to me, as if I had not been absent. Among the People that were grown up before I went away, there were few or no new faces in the house: but there were but few young People, that I could recollect, 6 years have very little effect upon the appearance of men, and women, but a surprising one, upon that of Children. But of all the persons I have seen none have so compleatly altered as my Cousin W. Cranch. I { 315 } never can realize the idea, of his being the same little boy I left in 1779, and I am told that I myself have alter'd nearly as much. When the afternoon service was over I went with Mr. Tyler down to my father's house,2 and no object ever brought to my mind such a variety of different Sensations. It reminded me of the days of my Childhood, most of which were past in it, but it look'd so lonely, and melancholy without its inhabitants, as drew a deep sigh from my breast. I paid a visit to the Library, and found it in pretty good order.
1. Rev. Anthony Wibird, minister at the First Church of Braintree (later Quincy) from 1755 until his death in 1800 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 12:226–230).
2. This house on Franklin Street in Quincy is known today as the John Quincy Adams Birthplace and was JA's and AA's home from the time of their marriage in 1764. JA had given Tyler access to his law library in the house during his absence (JA, Earliest Diary, p. 25–26). For an illustration of the house and the John Adams Birthplace next to it, see JA, Diary and Autobiography, 1:facing 256; a description of the two houses is in HA2, “The Birthplaces of Presidents John and John Quincy Adams, Quincy, Massachusetts,” Old-Time New England, 26:79–99 (Jan. 1936). The two houses are now part of the Adams National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service.
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/