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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0002-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-02-22


I attended to hear the debates in convention again, this forenoon. Mr. Langdon1 began by making a motion that the Convention should adjourn to some future day: But said he would waive his motion if any gentleman had further observations to make upon the System. Mr. Atherton,2 the leader of the opposition rose, and in a speech of more than an hour recapitulated every objection that he could invent against the constitution. He observed that confederation was derived from the Latin word foedus; and that consolidation was a metaphorical expression borrowed from the operations of chemistry; these were two of his most ingenious ideas, and upon the whole I think he may candidly be pronounced a miserable speaker, and a worse reasoner.
A reverend Parson Thirston3 spoke as long, and as little to the purpose on the other side. He talk'd of France's demanding her money with the dagger in her hand; and of Britain's sending 50 sail of the line and 60,000 men to take New Hampshire But did not even attempt to support the plan, upon the fair and honourable basis of rational argumentation. When these two gentlemen had exhausted the resources of their lungs, the motion for an ad• { 366 } journment was again brought upon the carpet. This was the offspring of the fears of the federal party; and was faintly opposed by the other faction, who appeared to be equally fearful of the event; though more confident in their numbers. The vote for adjournment however was carried by a trifling majority. The time and place at which they should meet again, was a subject of some conversation; but finally the third Wednesday in June, and Concord were agreed upon.
We dined at Mr. Peabody's. Dr. Kilham was troubled with the impertinence of one Hopkinson, a distracted fellow, who came, and pretended to call him to an account for coming and intermeddling with concerns, in which he was not interested. A little after three we got into the sleigh, and between 6 and 7. cross'd the river from Salisbury.
I immediately went to Thompson's: I found Little there, and Putnam came in soon after: we pass'd the evening in sociable chat till 9 when I returned home.
1. John Langdon, delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia (DAB).
2. Joshua Atherton, a lawyer from Amherst, N.H. (Joseph B. Walker, A History of the New Hampshire Convention for the... Federal Constitution..., Boston, 1888, p. 15).
3. Rev. Benjamin Thurston, minister at North Hampton, N.H. (same, p. 9).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0002-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-02-23


When I went to the office this morning I found young Pickman of Salem there. I was acquainted with him somewhat in Europe, and I believe he is mentioned in the first volume of this repository.1 (repository!) He has been studying more than two years in Mr. Pynchon's office; and proposes now to pass five or six months in Mr. Parsons's. And I shall be very happy in this additional companion, as Townsend and Amory are both soon to leave the Town.
I pass'd the evening at home, and my friend Little spent it with me.
Wrote nothing, though it was very necessary.
1. See entry and note for 27 Feb. 1785 (above).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0002-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-02-24


Mr. Carey is still very sick, and we had no divine service this day at his meeting. I again pass'd the whole day at home; I was { 367 } tired in the evening, and took a walk as far as Deacon Thompson's; and desired Tom, to come, and pass an hour with me which he did.
I called at Putnam's, but he was not at home....1 I wrote diligently in the course of the day, and acquired some little credit.
1. JQA's ellipses.
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.