A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0004-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-06-14


The Freshmen, by their high Spirit of Liberty, have again involved themselves in difficulties. The Sophimores, consider themselves as insulted, by them, and in a Class meeting, last { 50 } evening determined, to oblige all the Freshmen, to take off their hats in the yard, and to send them [on errands??]. There has been a great deal of business between them to day; Mr. Hale, has had several of them before him. Isaac Adams among the rest, a daring, insolent fellow, who has too much Influence in that Class, and who will not, perhaps, take his degree with them.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0004-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-06-15


We did not recite this morning. The struggle between the Freshmen and Sophimores still continues. They have been mutually hoisting one another all day. I went with Andrews 1st and Dwight, and spent, part of the Evening at Mr. Dana's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0004-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-06-16


Warm weather. Nous eûmes une assemblée extraordinaire de nôtre Societé; Dwight y fit un discours, au nom de sa Classe, en prenant Congé de la Societé. C'est une Loi que lorsqu'une Classe, quitte l'Université, un membre de la Societé et de cette Classe, fera un discours; on le choisit un an d'avance; mais comme, ce furent les membres de la presente premiere Classe, qui ont institué le Societé, le discours de ce soir, fut le premier dans ce genre. Le Discours fini ces messieurs, se retirerent, et nous fimes Choix, de Freeman, pour faire le discours de l'anniversaire, l'année prochaine, et de Bridge, pour celui du Congé. Aprés avoir fait quelques autres affaires nous nous retirâmes, chéz nous.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0004-0017

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-06-17


This day, the Bridge over Charlestown Ferry was compleated, and as the same day 11 years agone, was mark'd at Charlestown, with dreadful Scenes, of Slaughter and Destruction,1 the managers, and directors of the Bridge, determined, that this day should be mark'd with Pleasure and festivity. I do not think however that the scheme, was good. A Dinner was provided for 600 People, on Bunker's hill: the havoc of oxen, sheep, and fowls of all kinds, was I suppose as great to day, as that of men upon the former occasion and I dare say, there was as much wine drank now, as there was blood spilt then, and to crown the whole, The head of the table, was I hear placed on the very spot { 51 } where the immortal Warren fell. I think however, that the ground which had been the scene, of such an awful Day, should [not], be made a scene, of revels, and feasting. What must be the feelings of a man of Sensibility, who, would naturally say to himself “perhaps, I am now seated on the grave of my dearest friend. Perhaps this is the Spot where he drew his last gasp; and I may now be treading down his bones.” All this may be called prejudice, but they are feelings natural to the heart, and such as ought not I think to be rooted from it. Three or four Songs were composed upon the occasion, by different persons, in every one of which Charlestown was compared, to a Phoenix, rising from its ashes.2 All the Tutors were gone, so that we had no Prayers in the afternoon, and there were not more than 30 persons in to Commons. For my Part, I did nothing all day in Consequence of it. After dinner we bathed in the River.
1. The Battle of Bunker Hill, which JQA viewed from Braintree, and the death of Dr. Joseph Warren left a vivid impression on JQA which remained throughout his life. As late as 1846, he wrote of the events of that day: “I saw with my own eyes those fires, and heard Britannia's thunders in the Battle of Bunker's hill and witnessed the tears of my mother and mingled with them my own, at the fall of Warren a dear friend of my father, and a beloved Physician to me. He had been our family physician and surgeon, and had saved my fore finger from amputation under a very bad fracture” (Adams Family Correspondence,1:29, 223–224; JQA to Joseph Sturge, March 1846, Dft, Adams Papers).
2. For an account of the opening of the Charles River Bridge, which attracted a crowd of 20,000, see the Boston Independent Chronicle, 22 June.
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.