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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 1

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-20


Mr. Tyler was again taken up the whole day. In the afternoon I went with my Cousins, over to Weymouth to see Mrs. Tufts1 who is recovering from a long and dangerous illness. We spent about an hour and drank tea there. I saw at a distance the solitary house which was my Grandfather's:2 but had no inclination. Whence arises this antipathy, to places where those who are dear to us have died? Why does the involuntary tear, start from the eye, at the sight of them? It surely must arise from a { 327 } good principle, for although these feelings are painful, yet I would not be free from them.
While we were gone, Miss Lucy Apthorp, with her future husband Mr. Nash,3 came in to pay a visit to my Cousins. They afterwards set off together for Boston, where they are next Saturday, to be united. The family will go to-morrow.
1. Lucy Quincy Tufts (1729–1785), wife of Dr. Cotton Tufts Sr., and JQA's great-aunt; she died after a lingering illness on 30 Oct.
2. Rev. William Smith (1707–1783), father of AA, had been minister of the First Church of Weymouth.
3. Lucy Ann Apthorp, daughter of James Apthorp, of Braintree, married Richard Nash of Cornwall, England, an officer in the British navy, four days later (entry for 24 Sept., below; John Wentworth, The Wentworth Genealogy, 2 vols., Boston, 1870, 1:306; Boston Gazette, 26 Sept.).

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-21


Hazy disagreeable weather: was confined all day to the House, and was for the most part employ'd in preparing my trunks, that are to go to Haverhill. Mr. Tyler's business was finish'd last night, he was the greatest part of this day writing to Europe.1
1. If this included letters to the Adamses in Europe, none has been found.

Docno: ADMS-03-01-02-0007-0011-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1785-09-22


This morning I sent down a Cart with my two trunks that are going to Haverhill. I intended to go myself in the forenoon, but at length resolv'd to go and dine with Mrs. Quincy, and from thence go forward to Boston. My two good Cousins went in the Chaise; I walk'd it, with Mr. Tyler. We were not expected, and somewhat late: we found Parson Wibird there, who ask'd me abundance, of questions, mostly concerning the Women of the different Countries I had been in. I observed this to him, and he said, “Yes I always inquire about the best things first” an honourable testimony in favour of the Ladies, as it comes from an old Batchelor; who I believe would have spent his days much more pleasantly than he has, had he taken to himself, one of these best things thirty five years ago. Of all negative happiness, I think, that attending the life of an old batchelor is the most insipid.

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,

Some pious drops the closing eye requires.1

After dinner Mr. Tyler, and I mounted our horses, and trudg'd { 328 } on towards Boston: at Milton, we stopp'd for half an hour at Genl: Warren's, and found Mrs. Otis there. At about 5 o'clock, we got to the neck: there Mr. Tyler left me, and went to Jamaica Plains where his mother lives. When I got to my uncle Cranch's lodgings, he told me, that the Stage between this and Haverhill, will not go this week; so that my trunks cannot be sent. Went to my uncle Smith's. Mrs. Otis and Mrs. Welch spent the evening there, and I was obliged to take a hand at whist, which is never very agreeable to me, but which I always think myself obliged to do, when a party cannot otherwise be made.
1. Thomas Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” lines 89–90. On 29 Sept. 1782 JQA copied this poem into one of his poetical commonplace books (M/JQA/26, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 221). JQA also may have had in his possession at this time the Poetical Works of Mr. Gray, new edn., London, 1785, now at MQA, which contains his bookplate.
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, 2018.