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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-03


I heard Mr. Andrews preach. About as long as he was last Sunday. I think he is gaining ground in the parish. And am in hopes that he may be finally settled, without much opposition. Which would greatly disappoint some flaming zealots, who like all zealots justify unworthy means by the sanctity of the end.
I walk'd in the beginning of the evening with Stacey: and af• { 438 } terwards called at Mrs. Hooper's. Betsey gratified her temper by the most unlimited severity upon a number of young Ladies who usually associate together. There appears by her conversation to be some peculiar enmity against them: her mother always reproves her, and always follows her example. There appears a singular pleasure in observing the trifling and silly conduct of that circle; and thus throughout Society, the follies of one, always contribute to the gratification of many others.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-04


Blackstone still furnishes me with employment for my forenoon hours; and I this day took up the fourth volume of Hume's History, which I was reading when I last went from here. This author's manifest partiality in favour of the Stuarts, his unceasing labours to palliate their faults, and his blindness to their crimes, must be overlook'd or forgiven in favor of the great entertainment which he affords.
I pass'd the evening with Thompson, at Mr. Carter's. The Conversation was not uncommonly interesting, though the old gentleman, is always agreeable to me. Betsey Smith of Boston was there and has been with them for several weeks.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-05


This forenoon A Doctor Young came to our office, for a writ against a number of insurgents. It seems he was a volunteer in the service of government, the winter before last; and being upon a party against several of them received a ball in his knee, which has made him a cripple for Life. He brought an action against them some time since at Worcester, but his jury were one half of them insurgents, who were for giving him no damages, and the other half thought he should have a thousand or fifteen hundred pounds, they could not agree: upon which he discontinued his action, and is now determined to bring one forward in this County, where he hopes to find a more impartial jury. The cause will, I doubt not, be very interesting, and Mr. Parsons will exert himself.
I walk'd in the evening with Stacey.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-06


Putnam went last week to Danvers, and return'd this forenoon. He brought me a Letter, which came from Townsend,1 enclosing one for Mrs. Hooper. Amory it seems has suddenly determined to open an office in Salem; and has already put his determination into execution. He had concluded to take a trip, either to Georgia, or Carolina; but upon being informed that Pickman had altered his scheme; he thought it would be best to try his fortune first in this part of the Country. I went in the evening with Thompson, up to Mrs. Atkins's. I told them that Townsend was coming here next week. Becca said she hoped he would make himself welcome by bringing Jo. Hooper with him: it was conjectured while Townsend lived in this Town, that he had a partiality for this lady. He frequented the house very much; and there appears now a coolness in them bordering upon the resentment of disappointment. Mrs. Atkins said that a man must generally be a good judge of his own compositions, and ask'd me if I was of that opinion; I was not and endeavoured to avoid answering directly; but she would not suffer it; and I was finally obliged to agree, to the truth of her observation; protestando to myself that it was only from complaisance to a Lady, that I agreed; which will always excuse a little self-denying as Hudibras calls it.
1. Letter not found.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-07


Thompson did not attend this day at the Office. Phillips called to see us this afternoon. He has been to Portsmouth, and is now upon his return to Boston: he expects to read law in Mr. Dawes's office. I walk'd into Newbury this evening with Stacey. The evenings grow long to my great regret. At present I can employ the evening from dusk till nine o'clock in walking; and as I am not over fond of visiting, this is the most agreeable, as well as to me the most useful method of spending my Time. I am not upon familiar terms in one house in Town; and upon the cold formality of ceremony, with which all my visits must be accompanied, I confess I wish not to be extensively acquainted.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-08


We met this evening at my lodgings, as we have changed the evening in order to accommodate Thompson who wishes to attend Mr. Spring's lectures. This young fellow, who is possessed of most violent passions which he with great difficulty can command, and of unbounded ambition, which he conceals perhaps even to himself has been seduced into that bigoted, illiberal system of religion which by professing vainly, to follow purely the dictates of the bible, in reality contradicts the whole doctrine of the new testament, and destroys all the boundaries between good and evil, between right and wrong. But like all the followers of that sect, his practice is at open variance with his theory. When I observe into what inconsistent absurdities those persons run, who make speculative, metaphysical religion a matter of importance, I am fully determined never to puzzle myself in the mazes of religious discussion, to content myself with practising the dictates of God and reason; so far as I can judge for myself; and resign myself into the arms of a being whose tender mercies are over all his works.1
1. To this account JQA adds, in his line-a-day entry, “Walk'd after nine. Journal” (D/JQA/13, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 16).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-09


Thompson went to see Miss Roberts at Newtown. I cannot read with so much satisfaction for some days past, as I usually do, as my eyes are very troublesome. Walk'd in the evening, but quite alone: I finished a day or two since, my performance for the 5th. of next month;1 and am now very closely engaged in a matter which has been accumulating upon me these two months.
1. According to JQA's draft copy of the Phi Beta Kappa speech, he had completed it on 6 Aug.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-10


Mr. Kimball supplied the place of Mr. Andrews this day. I observed none of Captn. Coombs's family were at meeting, and heard in the afternoon that his Daughter Polly, had left this world; and I trust for a better, this morning; after an illness of four or five months. In the afternoon I went to Mr. Spring's, meeting and heard a Mr. Story1 preach there hammering away in { 441 } the true stile upon predestination and free-will. None but an atheist he said could doubt of the former; and no man that had common sense of the latter. He endeavoured to soften his system as much as possible; hoping thereby, I suppose, that he might be employ'd in the other parish.
I walk'd with Stacey and Romain, in the evening. We met Amory who was returning from Cape Ann with Miss Fletcher. After he had carried her home, he went at about 9 in the evening with Stacey to Ipswich.
1. Probably Isaac Story, minister of the Second Congregational Church of Marblehead (James McLachlan, Princetonians, 1748–1768: A Biographical Dictionary, Princeton, 1976, p. 655–657).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-11


Thompson watch'd last evening;1 in consequence of which he felt not much disposed to study closely this day, and was but little at the office. Walk'd in the evening with Putnam.
1. For protection against fires and other disorders, the town of Newburyport required the services of two night watchmen, chosen by the constables from a list of all able-bodied townsmen (Currier, Newburyport, 2:46).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-12


I called in the afternoon for about half an hour, at the office. Attended Miss Coombs's funeral. It was very long. I walk'd with Putnam. As we were returning we accosted Miss Jones and Miss Fletcher; and waited on them home. After which we went to see Townsend Who came in town this forenoon; we past an hour or two there and afterwards walk'd till between nine and ten. Townsends cough, still hangs upon him; and although he fansies himself essentially better, his situation appears to me more dangerous, than it did four months ago. His spirits however are as brisk and lively as they ever were; and he talks as much as ever; which I believe is rather injurious to him.
My Time flies from me with the rapidity of a whirlwind. Every hour is precious, and every moment unemployed becomes a subject of regret. This afternoon has been lost to me; unless the view of the object before me, be turned to some profit; though even that by showing more forcibly the brevity and uncertainty of Life, should rather condemn me, for neglecting to improve every minute to the best purposes.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-13


Mrs. Emery who has been very ill these four or five weeks, died last night, leaving to the wide world two orphan children, who three years ago had the fairest prospects of sharing a fortune of ten thousand pounds sterling; but who in consequence of Mr. Tracy's misfortunes, are now almost destitute of support.
I walk'd in the evening with Stacey and Little. Stacey left us. We met Putnam walking with some young Ladies. I joined them, and pass'd the remainder of the evening at Mr. Frazier's. These young Misses have assumed an importance rather above their years, and to the trifling conduct and conversation of childhood, unite the punctilious formality of riper years. I receive not much satisfaction in their company, and as they are handsome, I had rather look at them for five minutes than be with them five hours. Putnam is not so difficult to please. He can conform to their manners, and enter into all their debates: he is consequently a favourite.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-14


This was a day of humiliation and prayer at Mr. Carey's: on account of his sickness; and to implore the assistance of providence in choosing a colleague to supply his place. Mr. Webster of Salisbury preached in the forenoon; and performed very well. But Dr. Tucker in the afternoon was very interesting and pathetic; in showing how good and pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. I attended Mrs. Emery's funeral. Mr. Andrews made the prayer; and performed even better than was expected. I passed part of the evening with Townsend; called at Mr. Tufts's, to see Mrs. Shaw; but she was gone out. Mr. Shaw called to see me in the morning. They came in town last night.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-15


I called in at Mr. Tufts's to see Mrs. Shaw this morning. I found old Mr. Carter there. Geneological as usual. I dined at his house, with my friends from Haverhill. He asked me to return to tea: I excused myself. He said that tippling business would be going on, every afternoon at six o'clock; if I would call there, I should be welcome. I returned to the Office but felt so much dis• { 443 } sipated, that I could not attend with much application. We met this evening at Stacey's lodgings. Townsend went away just before Sun-set. Lincoln1 a classmate of Thompson's, pass'd the evening with us. Though a young preacher, he is not so rigid in his principles as many others are. In the close of the evening we took a walk.
1. Rev. Henry Lincoln, minister at Falmouth, Mass. (History of the Town of Hingham, 4 vols, in 3, Hingham, 1893, 2:467).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-16


Dined with Townsend, in company with Mr. Andrews, and Thompson. After dinner we took a ride: went down to Mr. N. Tracy's, but he was not at home. On the road we met the governor, who was coming into Town. We went to Mrs. Atkins's. She was in fine spirits and consequently very good company. We were however obliged to come away early as the weather was rather disagreeable. I spent the evening at Mr. Hooper's. Mr. Cutler was there. We stroll'd about, an hour or more after we came away.
The week has disappeared in a very singular manner; some thing or other has taken me from my studies every day; and at the close of the week I regret the Time lost without being able to repair it. This is not the first time that I have experienced this effect since I came into this Town, and I greatly fear it will not be the last.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-17


Mr. Andrews preach'd for us; this forenoon he was lengthy in his prayer upon the late misfortunes in the several families. In his Sermon he likewise touched upon the subject, in recommending to us, so to number our days, that we might apply our hearts unto wisdom. I past the evening with Townsend. There fell a considerable quantity of rain, in the course of the last night, and of this day. And it will be very useful, as the fruits of the ground were languishing for want of moisture.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-18


This morning I perceived a deal of stirring in the Streets; and was finally informed that the governor was reviewing the troops { 444 } of this Town; after which a number of officers, and other gentlemen escorted his excellency to Haverhill; where he intends to dine; and then I suppose he means to show himself some where else. I passed the day at the Office. And the evening, at home in writing; I intended to have taken my usual exercice; but upon leaving the office, I found it was raining, and it continued all the evening. I amused myself tolerably well at home. I have indeed had for some time past almost as much business to do at my lodgings as at the office; but I hope to be gradually relieved.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-19


Several of the gentlemen who accompanied the governor, yesterday to Haverhill, went on to Salem with him, and did not return till this evening. I was with Townsend.1
1. JQA's line-a-day entry for this day reads: “Stacey return'd. Rain. Walk with Putnam. Townsend” (D/JQA/13, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 16).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-20


I was walking with Putnam in one of the Streets in Town, this evening, when we heard a strange noise in a house, and a number of people standing round it. We went up to the window and heard a man exhorting as they call it. That is calling upon God, in every tone of voice, and repeating a number of texts of scripture, incoherently huddled together, so as to make an unintelligible jumble of nonsense, which they think is a proper method of seeking the Lord.1
1. JQA adds in his line-a-day entry, “Busy doing nothing” (D/JQA/13, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 16).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-21


Upon Stacey's invitation I went with him and Putnam, and two young lads by the name of Greenough, to Mr. Greenleaf's; where we had something like a concert of music. The house was soon filled with people; it seemed as if there was nobody within five miles that had ever heard the sound of a violin before. Some of the young Ladies thought it would be pretty to join with their voices in the music; and the concert thenceforth became both vocal and instrumental. I was fatigued by ten o'clock; and could blow no more: and finding that Stacey and Putnam had got so { 445 } much engaged, with a lovely songstress, (or one that might be lovely) as shew no prospect of an intention to quit, I came off and left them at about eleven o'clock.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-22


We assembled this evening at Thompson's. Mr. Greenleaf called in and past an hour with us. He was apprehensive that we were disgusted with the crowd last evening; but we undeceived him. He talk'd about the war; for he was an officer in our army.

“And little of this great world can he speak

More than pertains to feats of broils and battle.”1

Putnam has not yet got over his trick of leaving us to join the young Ladies; but this evening he acknowledged, he was going to Mr. Frazier's. We likewise walk'd in the evening, and stroll'd about till ten o'clock.
1. Othello, Act I, scene iii, lines 86–87.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-23


Dined at Thompson's, with Mr. Andrews and Townsend. In the afternoon I took a ride with Little to Haverhill. I endeavoured to persuade him to go with me the week after next to Cambridge; but my labour was in vain. We had a very smart thunder shower, while we were on the road, but it was very soon over.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
DateRange: 1788-08-24 - 1788-09-02

[24 August–2 September]

Here, this journal very abruptly breaks off. I had long doubted whether the utility attending the method which I have pursued were adequate to the time I have devoted to it. But an indisposition, which for two months has prevented me from writing has finally turned the wavering scale.
I will not however immediately drop all memorials of my transactions; but the remainder of this volume will probably contain a space of time as long as that recorded already in more than two vols, and an half.1
1. This entry appears immediately after the previous one. Handwriting and the lighter ink suggest that it and the entries for 23 Aug. and 3 Sept. were probably written at the same time. After this entry, with scattered exceptions, the only Diary entries for the remainder of the year come from line-a-day memoranda in D/JQA/13. The exceptions, from D/JQA/12, are 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 20, 24, 27, 30 Sept. and 1, 2, 3, 7, 14 Oct.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-24


Parson Dutch preach'd. L. White and Mr. Thaxter.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-25


Return'd from Haverhill. Somewhat interrupted.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-26


Office business. Takes from reading. Dined with Mr. Parsons.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-27


Mr. Parsons went to Boston. Wrote. Mr. Cabot &c.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-28


Walk'd with Stacey. Curious conversation. Greenough's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0030

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-29


Funeral. Mr. Atkins. Met in the evening at Putnams.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0031

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-30


Rain. Little past the evening with me.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0008-0032

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-08-31


Heard Mr. Prince. Mr. Marquand's. Mr. Jackson's. Religious tattoo.1
1. At the bottom of the page of line-a-day entries for Aug. 1788, but not necessarily referring to the date of 31 Aug., appears the following note: “Memorandum: Stacey borrow'd book, for Ipswich.”

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-01

September 1. 1788.

Rain. Pass'd the evening with Stacey.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-02


Finished Hume and Blackstone. Little &c.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-03

Wednesday September 3d.

I went over the river with Stacey and Romain upon a shooting party. We had tolerable success. It was very windy; and with a heavy boat and only one oar, we had some difficulty to get across the river. Bridge arrived this day in town. I proposed to him to go with me to-morrow: and he has partly promised to accept my proposal. I this evening informed Mrs. Leathers of my intention to change my lodgings.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-04

Thursday September 4th.

Left Newbury-Port this morning with Bridge: we dined at Putnam's in Dan vers. Very indifferent entertainment. After mistaking our road, and going to Winisimet ferry, we finally got to Cambridge a little before 9 o'clock. Lodg'd at Bradish's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-05

Friday September 5th.

The assembly at the anniversary of the Ф.B.K. was more numerous than I have known it. There were near forty members present, among whom were two from Dartmouth college. Lincoln, who was to have been one of the speakers obtained leave to be excused on account of ill health. The governor, happening to be here with the admiral, and some other officers of the french squadron, now in Boston harbour, honoured us with his presence; as did all the college officers.
I spoke the oration which is hereto annexed,1 after which we retired to the butler's chamber: the french Consul, who had likewise attended came there to compliment me &c. After doing what business was necessary, we all went down to Warland's and dined together; and the festive board crowned the enjoyments of friendship.
An Oration.
Spoken, at the request of the ΦBK Society at Cambridge, September 5th. 1788.
Among the various objects which attract the attention of a youth about to enter upon the scenes of active Life, a view of the prospects before him, and of the Fortunes which expectation leads him to imagine will attend him affords one of the most fruitful sources of contemplation. From an anticipation of futurity, and from the recollection of the past, we chiefly derive the variety of mental enjoyment; and at an early period of life, as { 448 } we are necessarily precluded in a great measure from the satisfaction arising from the one, the mind naturally recurs more frequently and with a firmer confidence to the other. It must however be acknowledged that we are often prone to view the distant objects through the deceptive medium of fansy, or of the passions.
Should a concurrence of agreeable circumstances, lead us to the contemplation of this subject, at a time when the spirits are elated by the temporary impulsion of successful satisfaction, we soar rapidly upon the wings of a flattering imagination, and soon lose ourselves bewildered amidst the magnificent objects with which we have adorned the road around us. Unmindful of the precarious tenure by which all human enjoyments are held, we behold Fortune and Fame emulously striving to invest us in the possession of all the blessings which they can impart, and in the ardor of juvenile exultation eastern opulence is scarcely competent to the satisfaction of our avarice, eastern grandeur to that of our ambition. But should some untoward event occur, to awaken us from these fantastic dreams, we descend with rapidity from the visionary elevation, and sink as far beneath the level of rational probability, as we had before been raised above it. The path of life becomes rugged with thorns: a thousand obstacles apparently stand before us, and the approach to the seats of happiness, like that to the garden of the Hesperides seems under the perpetual custody of fiery dragons. We dwell with involuntary terror upon the ideas of the malice, the treachery and envy which we expect from our fellow mortals untill we are ready to imagine that our Life is to be a state of continual warfare with the whole human race. The baseless fabric of our hopes vanishes like the phantom of a fairy tale, and the mind oppressed by the contemplation of these gloomy objects is almost ready to settle in a state of sullen despondency.
I presume your own feelings, my worthy friends, will testify that this representation can scarcely be charged with exaggeration: and yet, why on the one hand, should we ever indulge ourselves in expectations which never can be realized; why on the other, anticipate evils, which can surely never come too late.
Egregiously indeed should we deceive ourselves were we to imagine that in the course of a life of ease and contentment, we could obtain the enjoyments of riches or of honour. It is by a combination of indefatigable industry and rigid oeconomy that { 449 } great wealth is acquired; for when we have done all that can depend upon ourselves, when we have laboured without intermission, and been sparing even to parsimony, still we frequently experience that “bread is not always to the wise nor yet riches to men of understanding.” Great honours we must remember are the reward of great exertions. The reputation of a Statesman or a Warrior is generally proportioned to the distresses from which he relieved or attempted to relieve his country; and the defeats of Thrasymene and Cannae are monuments erected to the fame of the elder Scipio, no less glorious than the victory of Zama.
When we contemplate the atchievements of the numerous train of heroes whose names, through the successive revolutions of four hundred years, adorn the annals of the roman republic our bosoms are animated with an ardent desire to emulate their virtues. We admire the undaunted fortitude with which every danger was braved, we admire the invincible resolution and perseverance, with which every difficulty was overcome, in the defence of their country: and when these virtues are recommended by such illustrious examples, the most exalted minds will fervently wish for opportunities to display those qualities which command the admiration of mankind. But when we consider, that those atchievements could never have been performed had not their Country during the same period been engaged in a perpetual struggle to maintain her very existence against her hostile and surrounding neighbours; when we reflect upon the dreadful calamities which the republic underwent, and how often she was brought to the brink of destruction, the rude and imperious calls of ambition must yield to the soft, persuasive eloquence of humanity, and a sentiment of real patriotism, must forbid us from pursuing the painful preeminence.
But if we should carefully avoid a delusion which by promising unreal advantages exposes us to the mortification of disappointment, how much more reason have we to shun another, which by threatening future distresses, embitters the present moment with the reality of woe. If we can circumscribe our desires within rational bounds; if we can be contented with a situation which affords the most essential enjoyments, we may safely conclude ourselves in a great measure, independent of external circumstances. There is a certain station in life, which if well filled will entitle us to the respect and esteem of our fellow citizens, without holding us up exposed to the envenomed shafts { 450 } of rancorous envy. The rewards of Reason are proportioned rather to the improvement than to the magnitude of the trust; and in her impartial eye we may presume that the man whose usefulness is confined only by the limits of his opportunities to serve his fellow mortals, is no less meritorious than the founder of an empire or the discoveror of a world.—Such is the Divine, whose paternal labours are calculated to instruct, to enlighten and to improve the minds of the flock committed to his charge: whose periodical precepts teach the importance of the great duties of morality and religion, and whose exemplary sanctity of manners endears the virtues which from the sacred desk he earnestly recommends.—Such is the patriotic merchant whose industrious activity is exerted to promote the public interest in connexion with his own, and who by encouraging the agriculture and manufactures of his Country, enlarges the sphere of her beneficial commerce, and liberates her from the humiliating shackles of european dependency.—Such is the lawyer, who, disdaining the base and servile arts of chicanery and intrigue, uniformly exerts his learning and his talents in the cause of injured innocence and of truth.—And such is the humane physician, whose skill and benevolence are directed to the alleviation of the complicated miseries with which humanity is burthened; who, called to the assistance of human nature in all the variety of physical distress, administers not only the restoring preparation to the languishing body; but the balm of consolation to the wounded mind.
The combined advantages of utility and respectability, are not however confined to these professions. In a free country where honour consists not in idleness, the farmer, the mechanic, and the tradesman maintain the dignity due to their station, and become active constituent parts of the political body.
As the regulation of our conduct must in some measure, depend upon the sentiments which we form in the anticipation of our future appearance in life, it may be of some importance to lay a restraint upon the freedom of a wanton imagination, and to view ourselves seated for life, in one of these intermediate stations where removed “Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife”2 we may spend our days with happiness to ourselves, and with usefulness to our fellow mortals. If notwithstanding all our precautions we are destined to become the sport of adverse Fortune, and to undergo evils against which no human prudence can { 451 } guard, at least the cruel stings of disappointed ambition will not add a poignancy to our woes. If on the other hand the blind capricious deity should bestow upon us unexpected favours, we shall be better enabled to improve the advantages which she may offer; to follow her with cautious steps, and to stop without disgrace wherever she may show a disposition to forsake us.
There is indeed one form under which Ambition assumes not merely the form, but with it all the amiable attractions and all the conscious dignity of Virtue. It is in the desire to appear conspicuous in the walks of literature and Science. An ambition, which to the members of the institution, at whose request I appear in this place, which to the sons of Harvard in general, must present itself under an aspect peculiarly engaging. Its gratification depends, not upon the destruction, but upon the improvement of mankind. The trophies erected to the Muses are not upon plains drenched in human gore, but in the hearts of the virtuous and the wise: and although the vulgar of mankind will always bestow more liberal applause upon their destroyers than upon their benefactors, yet the generous and humane will ever esteem the passage through the portico of Science, to be the most honourable avenue to the temple of Fame.
The situation of an infant country is necessarily unfavourable to an extensive encouragement of literary genius: the equality and mediocrity of fortunes renders an active profession necessary for the support of every individual: even those who are the most attached to the pursuits of Literature can view them only as a secondary object: in the ordinary course of human transactions the noblest faculties of the mind must droop and languish for want of culture and improvement.

“Full many a flower be born to blush unseen

And waste its sweetness on the desart air.”

We find accordingly, that previous to the late revolution, America had produced so few men of great eminence, that European philosophers of no small note, arguing from this single fact, which is otherwise so well accounted for, have ventured to affirm, that Nature, like a partial step-mother had distributed her favours very unequally between the inhabitants of the two hemispheres: that a smaller portion of the etherial spirit had been allotted to man, on this than on the other side of the atlantic; and in the presumptuous pride of human reason, they have been al• { 452 } most tempted to deny us the honours of the species, and to assign us a station among the inferior animals of creation. This humiliating theory is ere this well exploded. The late revolution has brought forth american characters in arts and arms whose reputation is limited only by the boundaries of the civilized world: one of our most illustrious countrymen has successfully combated the insulting system in all its connections: and his performance3 carries an internal evidence in favour of his opinions; as unanswerable, as the arguments and the facts which he adduces.
It becomes then incumbent upon the rising generation to maintain in all its lustre the splendid reputation which our country has acquired. To you therefore who are conscious of possessing the divine spark of transcendent genius, suffer me to express my ardent desire, that you may cherish the generous flame: that, in the various departments of Philosophy and History; of Oratory and Poetry, you may extract from this blooming garden of Science, such fragrant sweets, as shall hereafter diffuse their salutary influence throughout this extensive continent: that you may live to enjoy the fruits of a reputation founded upon your extensive usefulness to mankind; and that, after treading honourably the theatre of human life, when the scene shall close, and the curtain drop, you may be dismissed from the stage of action, with the unbounded plaudits of a grateful and admiring universe.
We separated early in the afternoon, and I went and paid a visit at Dr. Waterhouse's, and at Mr. Williams's. I went to Boston; where Bridge left me; and I took up my brother Tom. We met my classmate Tom Chandler, who just came from Hallifax: we got to Braintree between 7 and 8 o'clock, where I found Mr. Parsons, who pass'd the evening with us but lodg'd at Mr. Woodward's.
1. Two other contemporary MS copies of JQA's Phi Beta Kappa speech are in the Adams Papers. These include his draft copy, dated 24 July-6 Aug., and a loose copy, presumably made from the draft. Excluding the one exception noted below, these two copies contain only minor stylistic changes from the Diary copy (M/JQA/46, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 241; “An Oration,” originally microfilmed under the date [1786–1787]).
2. This and the next quotation are from Thomas Gray, “Elegy written in a Country Churchyard.”
3. At this point JQA made the following notation: “Notes upon Virginia, by Thomas Jefferson Esqr.” The whole passage at the end of this paragraph, beginning with “one of our most illustrious countrymen,” was added to the speech after JQA wrote his draft copy.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-06


Saltmarsh. Read. Mr. Cranch's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-07

Sunday September 7th. 1788.

The Marquis to Sainneville, commander of the french Squadron now in the harbour, and the Chevalier Maccarty de Martegues captain of the Achille, dined here to day. Several other officers were detained by the badness of the weather.1
1. In his line-a-day entry, JQA mentions “Meeting, forenoon” (D/JQA/13, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 16).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-08


Company afternoon. Angier.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-09


Went over to Milton.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-10

Wednesday September 10th.

The Governor with the Captains of the french vessells, the french Consul, and some other gentlemen dined with us.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-11


Mrs. Smith and Louisa. W. Cranch.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-12

Friday September 12th.

I left Braintree to return to Newbury-Port. Found Bridge in Boston. Dined at Mr. Smith's. We left Boston at about five o'clock and rode ten miles; to Newhall's tavern; where we lodge.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-13

Saturday Septr. 12th. [i.e. 13th].

Breakfasted in Salem: saw Amory and Learned. Dined at Ipswich. We got to Newbury-Port, at about five. We lodge this night at Mrs. Hooper's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-14

Sunday Septr. 13th. [i.e. 14th].

I did not sleep a wink the whole night. My nerves are in a very disagreeable state of irritation. I attended meeting all day at Dr. { 454 } Tucker's, with Bridge. I called in the evening at Mr. N. Carter's, and at Mr. Tufts's to deliver letters. At Mr. Tufts's I saw Mr. Shaw, who, I find preached for Mr. Andrews this day. I retired early, and went to bed, but could get no sleep. After laying about three hours, I got up and went over to Dr. Swett, and requested him to supply me with an opiate, which he did; it gradually composed my nerves, and gave me a few hours of sleep.1
1. This is the first of several references during the fall of 1788 to JQA's uncertain state of health. David Musto has argued that he was in a depressed state of mind, owing to the pressure that his family was placing on him to distinguish himself (to perpetuate the “family myth”) and to his own worries about his future in an overcrowded legal profession. Musto's explanation for the resolution of these difficulties, which apparently occurred only months later, is largely undocumented (“The Youth of John Quincy Adams,” Amer. Philos. Soc., Procs., 113:269–282 [Aug. 1969]).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-15


Sleepless. Could do no business.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-16


Strolling about all day. Idle.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-17


Can neither read nor write.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-18


Training. Unwell out of spirits. Foster.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-19


Spent my time in visiting &c.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-20

Saturday September 20th.

I have had three or four sleepless nights this weeks, and for the little rest I have enjoyed I have been indebted to soporific draughts. I dined this day with Mr. Parsons with Bridge and with Foster who took his station in the office on Thursday. This afternoon I mounted a horse and went to Haverhill where I am determined to spend a few days, and see if I cannot recruit my health. I found H. Lincoln here.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-21


Meeting afternoon. L. W. Mr. Thaxter.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-22


H. Lincoln. Dined with Mr. T. Mr. B's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-23


Lincoln went home. Dr. Price's Sermons.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-24

Wednesday September 24th.

Lincoln went yesterday for Hingham; I went with Mr. and Mrs. Shaw to Andover. There was a large company at Mr. Symmes's; and after dinner we had a lecture, the Sermon was intolerably long. Singing remarkably good. We got back to Haverhill just after Sun-set. My Brother Charles with Daniel Russell arrived here this evening. Charles obtained leave to come and see me. Mr. Thaxter and his Lady pass'd part of the evening here.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-25


Mr. Noyes. Afternoon with White.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-26


Dined with Mr. Thaxter. Genl. Lincoln.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-27

Saturday September 27th.

Another tedious sleepless night. Charles and Russell returned to Cambridge. I dined at Mr. White's. And in the afternoon got a little sleep which greatly refreshed my drooping spirits. Mr. French was here in the evening.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-28


Meeting Forenoon. Mr. Marsh. L. White.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-29


Tea at Mr. Adams's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0009-0030

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-09-30

Tuesday September 30th.

The weather was not very favourable, but, as the court of common pleas was to sit this week in Newbury-Port, I concluded to return there. When I got home, I found Bridge unwell. Nothing done at court but preparatory business this day. I retired early to bed.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-01

Wednesday October 1st. 1788.

“Oh gentle sleep

Nature's soft Nurse, how have I frighted thee

That thou no more wilt weigh mine eye lids down

And steep my senses in forgetfulness.”1

In the present situation of my health I cannot possibly attend at all to study, and this circumstance with some others has determined me to spend some weeks, perhaps some months at Braintree. I spoke for a place in the stage which goes to Boston to-morrow. No business of consequence done at Court this day. Pass'd part of the evening at Mr. Jackson's.
1. Henry IV, Part II, Act III, scene i, lines 5–8.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-02

Thursday October 2d.

I took my seat in the stage, in Company with a Lady who came from Portsmouth, and Mr. Vaughan, a brother of the gentlemen with whom I was acquainted in London. It was seven in the evening before we got to Boston. I went to Mr. Smith's; we pass'd part of the evening and lodged at Dr. Welch's. Lodg'd at Mr. Smith's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-03

Friday October 3d.

W. Cranch came into Boston with my father, who coming upon business which will detain him in town this night, gave me an opportunity to get to Braintree. I came home in company with my cousin.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-04


My father came home.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-05


Weymouth at meeting. Dr. Tufts's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-06


Rode over to Milton in the afternoon.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-07

Tuesday October 7th.

Mr. Murray1 the preacher who came from England with my father, came this day to pay him a visit, with his Lady whom he has lately married. He appears to be a man of an easy temper, and an ingenious mind, though not highly improved by learning. His wife is agreeable, though she appears a little tinctured with what the french call le precieux.
1. Rev. John Murray, minister of the Church of Christ in Gloucester, Mass., and the founder of Universalism in America (JA, Diary and Autobiography, 3:216).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-08


Went over to Hingham.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-09


Charles and Otis were here. Got up shelves.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-10


Slept none. Went to Weymouth.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-11


Medicine. Voltaire's works.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-12


At home all day. But dull somewhat. Rode.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-13


Went to Milton. Put up books.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-14

Tuesday October 14th.

My occupations have been very regular, and similar for a week past. Last Thursday night I again experienced a total want of sleep. By the help however of medecine and of constant exercice I think I am in a way to recover. This evening, my1
1. This entry, incomplete at the bottom of the page, is the last in D/JQA/12 until 6 Sept. 1789. In JQA's line-a-day entry, he adds: “Charles and Tom. Mr. and Mrs. Shaw” (D/JQA/13, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 16).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-15


Company to dine. Mr. B. &c.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-16


Dr. Tufts &c. Mr. Shaw went to Hghm.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-17


Fine weather. Gunning with Tom. Townsend.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-18


Madam and Tom went to Boston. Violent Thunder.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-19


Meeting to hear Mr. Wibird. W. Cranch. And[rews?].

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-20


Cranch went to Boston. Rain.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-21


Variable weather. Gibbon's history.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-22


Rode my horse. Andrews went towards Nby Pt.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-23


Mr. Russell's and returned at Night.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-24


Gunning in the morning with Charles. Tired.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-25


Mr. Thaxter. Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Mr. Shaw.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-26


Heard Mr. Shaw. Cranch and Phillips.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-27


Splendid parade.1 Much company.
1. Several regiments of troops from Boston were reviewed by Gov. Hancock and other dignitaries at Braintree (Massachusetts Centinel, 29 Oct.).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-28


Company gone. Went to Mr. Cranch's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-29


Went with Tom to Cambridge. Returned.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0030

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-30


Mr. A. went to Boston. Charles to Cambridge.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0010-0031

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-10-31


Mr. A. returned. Company at dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Storer. C. Storer &c.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-01

November 1. 1788.

Rode as usual; and read Gibbon &c.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-02


General Knox dined with us. P. M.1
1. After “P.M.” follows in shorthand “no meeting.”

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-03


Cicero de Senectute.1 Getting well.
1. Cicero's Cato Major de Senectute, or Essay on Old Age.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-04


Went to Boston with Mrs. Cranch. Returned.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-05


W. Cranch came from Boston. Fine weather.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-06


Evening at Mrs. Quincy's. Parson Wiberd.1
1. The entry concludes with shorthand for “no feeling.”

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-07


Mr. and Mrs. A went to Boston. Dined at Mr. Cranch's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-08


Quite lonesome. Mrs. C. came home.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-09


Parson Wibird dined at Mr. C's. Folks came home.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-10


Madam preparing for New York.1
1. AA was planning to visit AA2 (AA2, Jour. and Corr., 2:105).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-11


Rain all day. Cleared up in the evening.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-12


Went to Boston. Mrs. A. N. York. Lodgd at Camb.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-13


Returned to Braintree in the forenoon.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-14


Justinian's Inst.1 Foster's Cr. Law. Gibbon &c.
1. Justinian's Institutes, a textbook of Roman law and a foundation of continental law, originally issued by Justinian I in 533.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-15


Cold Weather. Dr. Tufts this evening.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-16


Mr. Norton. He dined with us.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-17


Went to Milton. Chilly weather looks like snow.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-18


Rode as usual. Read a variety at home.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-19


My health happily recovered. Rain; part of the day.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-20


Went to Mr. Cranch's. Mrs. C. gone to Boston.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-21


Letter from Mamma. Hartford. Fed. Senators.1
1. Probably AA to JA, 16 Nov. (Adams Papers). In this letter, written from Hartford, AA makes reference to the elections of federal senators in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-22


Went to Boston. Return'd with W. Cranch.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-23


Mr. Everett of Dorchester: dined with us.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-24


Very warm; rainy, disagreeable weather.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-25


Charles came home from Cambridge.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-26


Wm. Cranch was here. Rode to Milton.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-27


Thanksgiving day. Dull weather.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-28


Bad night. Dined at My Uncle Adams's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-29


Snow. Charles could not go to Cambridge.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0011-0030

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-11-30


Mr. Wibird preach'd. Charles dined at Mr. C.'s.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0001

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-01

December 1. 1788.

Charles return'd to Cambridge.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0002

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-02


Winslow Warren. Rode in the afternoon.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0003

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-03


Gibbon 5th. vol. 4th. gone which I much regret.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-04


Very cold. At Mr. Cranch's. Dr. Fogg. Mr. Thayer.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-05


Wm Cranch came from Boston. Heard from N. York.1
1. Presumably the letter written by AA to JA between 16 Nov. and 3 Dec., not found (JA to AA, (2 Dec, AA to JA, 3 Dec., Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-06


Went to Milton with Wm. Cranch. He dined with us.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0007

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-07


Mr. Cranch's after meeting. Mr. C. quite unwell.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0008

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-08


Left Braintree. Went as far as Wilmington. Rain.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0009

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-09


Went to Haverhill. Wet through.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0010

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-10


Got to Newbury-Port. Ordination.1 Dancing.
1. John Andrews, JQA's frequent companion, was ordained associate minister of the First Religious Society of Newburyport, to assist the ailing Rev. Thomas Cary (Currier, Newburyport, 1:253).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0011

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-11


Dined with Mr. Tufts. Not very bright. Dr. Swett's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-12


Company chiefly gone. Russell. Rode with Thompson. Dancing again.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-13


Put my horse at Tappan's. Eve with Dr. Kilham.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-14


Heard Mr. Ware. Preach'd admirably. D. Atkins.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-15


Attended the office. Read a little. Mr. Jackson's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-16


Mr. Parsons &c went to Salem Court. Miss Coats.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-17


Snow storm. Went to Salem. Supp'd at Amory's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0018

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-18


Attended court. Sat late. Lodg'd with Mr. Atkins.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-19


Dined with Amory. Went to the ball.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-20


Cold weather. Came home with Bridge. Sleepy.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0021

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-21


Heard Mr. Andrews, preach. Bouscaren. Mr. Carter.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0022

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-22


Very cold weather. Evening in the office.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-23


Cold continues. Eve at Judge Greenleaf's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-24


Went to Haverhill. Colder than ever.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-25


Mr. Thaxter's. Miss Hazen. Eve at Mr. Bartlett's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0026

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-26


Returned to N. Port. Wrote in the Eve.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0027

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-27


Dined at Judge Greenleaf's. Foster came home.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0028

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-28


Parson Allen preached. Snow storm.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0029

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-29


Thompson got home. Court at Mr. Atkins's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0030

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-30


Eve at Dr. Sawyer's. Mr. Boyd.—a youth.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0003-0012-0031

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1788-12-31


Eve with Foster at Mr. Jackson's, He was out.



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John Quincy Adams, 1767–1788

1767   July 11   Born in Braintree on the Adams farm at the foot of Penn's Hill.  
1775   July 17   With his mother (AA) witnesses the Battle of Bunker Hill from Penn's Hill.  
1778   Feb.––April   Sails with his father (JA) from Mount Wollaston aboard the frigate Boston, to Bordeaux; thence travels to Paris where JA serves as one of the three United States commissioners.  
1778   April 14   Enters M. Le Coeur's Academy at Passy, near Paris.  
1779   March–June   With JA, leaves Passy and awaits passage to America at Nantes, Lorient, and St. Nazaire.  
1779   June 17–Aug. 2   Sails from Lorient to Boston aboard the French frigate La Sensible.  
1779   Nov. 12   Begins his Diary.  
1779   Nov. 13–Dec. 8   Leaves Boston aboard La Sensible for France with his father, his brother Charles (CA), John Thaxter Jr., and Francis Dana. The congress had named JA to negotiate peace and commercial treaties with Great Britain. The frigate makes port at El Ferrol, Spain.  
1779   Dec. 26   The Adams party begins its overland journey to France across northern Spain.  
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1780   Feb. 9   Arrives in Paris.  
1780   Feb. 10   Attends M. Pechigny's school at Passy with CA.  
1780   July 27–Aug. 10   With CA, accompanies father to the Netherlands, JA's purpose being to negotiate a loan for the United States.  
1780   Aug. 30   With CA, becomes a boarding student at the Latin School on the Singel, in Amsterdam.  
1780   Nov. 10   Leaves the school with CA after JA's dispute with the preceptor.  
1780   Dec. 18   Goes with CA and John Thaxter Jr. to Leyden, where all three matriculate at the university during the following month.  
1781   June 9   Travels to Amsterdam with his father.  
1781   July 7   Leaves Amsterdam for Russia with Francis Dana.  
1781   July 25   Arrives in Berlin.  
1781   Aug. 27   Arrives in St. Petersburg, where he serves as secretary and interpreter to Dana, appointed to seek Russian diplomatic recognition of the United States.  
1782   March 9–10   Visits Oranienbaum and Peterhoff, near St. Petersburg.  
1782   July 10–11   Attends the Grand Duke's annual ball at Peterhoff.  
1782   Oct. 30   Leaves St. Petersburg for The Hague by way of the northern overland route through Finland.  
1782   Nov. 22   Arrives in Stockholm, where he remains until 31 December.  
1783   Jan. 1–25   Travels from Stockholm to Göteborg.  
1783   Feb. 15   Arrives in Copenhagen, remaining there until 5 March.  
1783   March 10   Enters Hamburg and stays there until 5 April.  
1783   April 21   Arrives at The Hague, where he continues Latin and Greek studies with C. W. F. Dumas until JA's return from Paris in July.  
1783   Aug.–Sept   Serves as his father's secretary in Paris, where JA and his fellow commissioners on 3 Sept. sign the Definitive Treaty with Great Britain.  
1783   Sept. 22–Oct. 20   Lodges with JA at Thomas Barclay's house at Auteuil, near Paris.  
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1783   Oct. 20   Leaves with JA for England on vacation, spent largely in London with short visits to Oxford and Bath.  
1784   Jan. 2   Leaves London for The Hague with JA, who seeks a second Dutch loan to save American credit.  
1784   May 14   Journeys to London to await the uncertain arrival of his mother and sister (AA2). Remains for more than one month before returning to The Hague alone.  
1784   July 30   Is reunited with AA and AA2 in London.  
1784   Aug. 8   Joined by JA, the Adams family travels to France, arriving in Paris on 13 August.  
1784   Aug. 17   The Adamses establish their residence in Auteuil, while JA serves as a joint commissioner to negotiate treaties with European powers.  
1785   May 12   Leaves Paris en route to America to attend Harvard.  
1785   May 21   Sails from Lorient on the Courier de l'Améerique.  
1785   July 17   Arrives in New York.  
1785   Aug. 13   Leaves for Boston after a month in the company of members of the congress and New York society.  
1785   Aug. 26   Arrives in Boston.  
1785   Aug. 31   Is advised by President Joseph Willard to wait until the spring to enter Harvard.  
1785   Sept. 7   Arrives at Haverhill to begin intensive study of Latin and Greek under the tutelage of his uncle, the Reverend John Shaw.  
1786   March 15   Examined and admitted to Harvard as a junior sophister.  
1786   May 29   Becomes a member of the “A.B.” Club.  
1786   June 12   Gives his first speech before the “A.B.” Club on the topic “Nothing is so difficult, but it may be overcome by industry.”  
1786   June 21   Elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  
1786   July 6   Delivers his first speech before the Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa on the question “Whether civil discord is advantageous to society.”  
{ 472 }
1786   Sept. 26   Takes part in a forensic dispute at the Harvard Exhibition on the question “Whether inequality among citizens be necessary to the preservation of liberty of the whole.”  
1787   April 10   At the Harvard Exhibition partakes in a conference on the comparative utility of law, physic, and divinity.  
1787   July 18   Gives English oration at his commencement on the topic “Upon the Importance and Necessity of Public Faith, to the Well-Being of a Community,” which becomes his first published work when it appears in the Columbian Magazine in September.  
1787   Sept. 8   Begins his legal studies in Newburyport in the office of Theophilus Parsons.  
1788   June 20–30   Greets his parents on their return from Europe and assists the move into the new family residence, the Vassall-Borland house in Braintree.  
1788   Sept. 5   Gives the annual Phi Beta Kappa Oration at Cambridge on the topic of young men's ambition.  
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.