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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0007-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-07-04


We left Cambridge by nine o'clock, and got into Boston in the midst of the bustle. We went immediately to Bracken's tavern. After dressing, I walk'd out; and met with a number of my very good friends. At about eleven we went to the old South meeting house, and heard Mr. Otis deliver an Oration.1 The composition and the delivery were much superior even to my expectations, which were somewhat sangwine. It was greatly superior in my opinion to that which he delivered when he took his second degree; the only public performance, that I had heard before from him. I saw my good friend Bridge for a few minutes only: he told me he expected to be at Newbury-Port in about three weeks from this. I likewise met with Townsend as I was going out of the Church; and we went together to the old brick; to hear General Hull's Oration to the Cincinnati;2 it appeared to me rather indifferent; and the effect upon me was the greater from the in• { 425 } voluntary comparison with that which I had just heard. However I found afterwards there were many persons who thought or pretended to think this Oration better both in matter and manner than the other: and they have certainly a right to enjoy their opinions: I dined at Deacon Storer's. Parson Wibird was there and some other company. In the afternoon I walk'd up on the common, to see the military parade, which was not however so spirited as at the last anniversary: but in the middle of the afternoon, the news arrived that Virginia had acceded to the federal Constitution, and immediately the bells were set to ringing, and the guns to firing again, without any mercy, and continued all the remainder of the afternoon. In the evening a number of young fellows paraded round the streets with candles lighted in their hands, and a drum before them, not much to their own credit or to the honour of the day; but they did no damage. I spent part of the evening with several of my classmates; but not finding Bridge, I returned early, and took my lodging at Brackett's.
1. Harrison Gray Otis, An Oration Delivered July 4, 1788 . . ., Boston, 1788.
2. William Hull, An Oration Delivered to the Society of the Cincinnati . . . July 4, 1788, Boston, 1788.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0007-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-07-05


We called this morning at Dr. Welch's, and at Mr. Guild's; but left town at about ten o'clock: It was almost one when we got to Braintree. I amused myself as I could in the afternoon: Mrs. Warren,1 with her son Harry stop'd here this night on their way to Plymouth; to which place General Warren has removed back, after living about eight years at Milton. He was formerly a very popular man, but of late years he has thought himself neglected by the People; his mind has been soured, and he became discontented, and querulous: he has been charged with using his influence in favour of Tender acts and paper money; and it has even been very confidently asserted, that he secretly favoured the insurrections and rebellion of the winter before last. Whether his conduct has been misrepresented or not, is a point that must for the present remain undetermined. But he has certainly given some reason for suspicion by his imprudence; and when in a time of rebellion a man openly censures the conduct in general, and almost every individual act of an administration, an impar• { 426 } tial public will always judge, that such a man cannot be greatly opposed to a party who are attacking the same measures.
Mrs. Warren however positively declared there was no truth in those allegations, and was very confident, that they were nothing more than the suggestions of the general's enemies, whose malignity, was unaccountable, but whose utmost spite and envy could not disturb his happiness

“For all the distant din this world can keep

Rolls o'er his grotto and but sooths his sleep.”

1. Mercy Otis Warren, historian and dramatist, wife of James Warren. The Adamses and Warrens had maintained a close friendship for many years.
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.