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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0003-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-05-19


I was informed, that Captain []1 will sail to-morrow for Europe; went to Mr. Reed, and requested to be excused from reciting to-morrow morning, in order to write, to my friends. Studied Algebra, and wrote off part of the Lecture. Sullivan a Senior Sophister, spent an hour with me, in the afternoon. The Class are { 36 } in the greatest anxiety, and Suspense, concerning the Parts, which are expected to be given out, every hour.
1. Left blank in MS.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0003-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-05-20


Cranch went to Boston this day, and brought me back, another large packet from my Sister, inclosing a Poem written, by Coll. Humphreys, on the happiness of America, addressed to the Citizens of the States.1 There is a great brilliancy of Imagination, I think display'd in it, and he is somewhat poetical, in describing the happiness, that reigns in this Country; but the poem I take to be a very fine one.
I wrote to my Mamma, and Sister this morning.2
1. Probably AA2 to JQA, 9–27 Feb. (Adams Papers), and 25–27 Feb. (AA2, Jour. and Corr., [3]:120–127). The copy of David Humphreys' A Poem, On the Happiness of America; Addressed to the Citizens ofthe United States, London, 1786, has not been found in the Adams Papers or Adams libraries.
2. Probably JQA to AA, 15–19 May (Adams Papers), and JQA to AA2, 18 May – 17 June (AA2, Jour. and Corr., [3]:112–120). JQA was deeply moved by the news of his sister's forthcoming marriage, and heartily concurred with AA in the “Contrast” between WSS and Royall Tyler. Smith “enjoys a Reputation, which has always commanded my Respect,” JQA wrote to AA, and “I wish henceforth to esteem him as a friend, and cherish him as a brother, as Circumstances have prevented me, from enjoying a personal acquaintance with him, his connection, with a Sister, as dear to me, as my Life, and the Opinion of my Parents, will stand in lieu of it. Will you be so kind,” he continued, “as to remember me affectionately to him?”

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0003-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-05-21


We had to day a Doctor Haven,1 from Portsmouth to preach; to day: he took his text from Psalm XXIII. 1. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want: in the forenoon, and in the afternoon, from I Corinthians. I: 18. For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish; foolishness: but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. I did not by any means like him so well, as I did Mr. Thatcher last Week. He is neither an extraordinary writer, nor speaker. 'Tis said he is an humble imitator of the famous Whitfield;2 which does not by any means raise my opinion of him. He talk'd a good deal about shepherds; and the Cross, and those that perish &c. but I heard nothing very edifying to me, in the whole day.
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1. Samuel Haven, minister of the South Congregational Church of Portsmouth, N.H., 1752–1806 (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates, 12:382–390).
2. George Whitefield, the English evangelical missionary and New Light apostle, who made several trips to America between 1738 and 1769 during the Great Awakening. JQA shared the views of Whitefield that his father had expressed as an undergraduate. Compare JA, Earliest Diary, p. 33.
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.