A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
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 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0001-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-03-28


Mr. Williams, this day, gave us, the first Lecture, upon Experimental Philosophy. It was upon the Properties of Matter, as Extension, Divisibility, Solidity, Mobility, figure, and Vis Inertiae. After the Lecture was over, he told us, the Regulations, which were, that the Door should be lock'd at the beginning of the Lectures; that there should be no whispering, nor spitting on the floor, and some others. After prayers Bancroft, one, of the Sophimore Class read the Customs to the freshmen, one of whom (McNeal) stood with his hat on, all the Time. He, with three others, were immediately (hoisted,) (as the term is,) before a tutor, and punished. There was immediately after, a Class meeting of the Freshmen; who it is said determined they would hoist any scholar of the other Classes, who should be seen with his Hat on, in the yard, when any of the Government are there. After the meeting, several of the Class went and had a high go. In Consequence of which the Librarian,1 had a number of squares of glass broke, in his windows. Drunkenness is the mother of every Vice.
1. James Winthrop.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0001-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-03-29


This forenoon we had a Lecture from Mr. Wigglesworth,1 the Professor of Divinity, upon the Question, whether Some Persons, had not carried their Ideas of the Depravity of human Nature, too far? He appeared to reason very coolly, and without prejudice upon it. He supposed that although mankind, are greatly depraved; yet that the Scriptures, show, he is not so, absolutely in capable of doing any thing good. In the afternoon Mr. Cranch, and Dr. Tufts, stop'd here, on their Road to Lincoln.
1. Edward Wigglesworth, successor to his father as Hollis Professor of Divinity 1765–1791 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 12:507–517).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0001-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-03-30


My Trunks, which I have been so long expecting, came, at last this morning, from Haverhill. White, and my Brother, went to Boston; this day our Class finished reciting in Euclid. A Lesson was set us in Gravesande,1 for next Quarter; when we go, in to Mr. Read. It would have been best to have gone in to Gravesande { 12 } before Mr. Williams, began his Lectures; but the Class was considerably delayed last year, by Mr. Howard's2 going away, as he was the mathematical Tutor. Mr. Cranch stopp'd here, on his Return, from Lincoln. Weather fair and pleasant all day. The freshmen, are still very high. Sullivan, one of the Seniors had a Window broke, by one of them this Evening.
1. Willem Jacob van's Gravesande, Mathematical Elements of Natural Philosophy, Confirmed by Experiments, Or, An Introduction to Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy..., transl. John Théophilus Desaguliers, 2 vols., London, 1720–1721. When JQA requested JA to purchase a copy for him in England, he asked for the octavo edition because it was the one “studied here. They are very scarce in this Country, as they can neither be bought, nor borrowed out of College” (JQA to JA, 21 May–14 June, Adams Papers).
2. Bezaleel Howard, Harvard 1781, tutor 1783–1785, had been minister at Springfield, Mass., since 1785 (Heman Howard, The Howard Genealogy: Descendants of John Howard of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, from 1643 to 1903 [Brockton, Mass.], 1903, p. 54; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.).
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.