A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0008-0012

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-09-12


Rain'd hard almost all day. We had a Class meeting, after Prayers for determining the matter, concerning a Valedictory Oration. By dint of obstinate impudence, Vociferation, and noise; the minority so wearied out those on the other side, that several of them went out, after which, a Vote was pass'd, ratifying the proceedings of the last meeting. Johnson, Sever, and Chandler 3d. were then chosen as a committee to inform the President of the proceedings in the Class, and the meeting was dissolved. We had a meeting of the ΦBK, at Burge's Chamber. Bridge, and Abbot, read a forensic, on the Question, “whether internal tranquillity, be a proof of Prosperity in a Republic.” Freeman and <myself> Adams were the extemporaneous disputants. The Society then adjourned till this day fortnight, when they are to meet at Little's Chamber, immediately after Prayers.
{ 95 }

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0008-0013

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-09-13


Finished my Trigonometry.
Immediately after Prayers in the Evening, the military Company, assembled, on the Common, and Captain Vose harangued them. He gave them a pretty Oration upon Patriotism. It contained several brilliant thoughts, and a well adapted Quotation from Cicero. After the Speech, the Company, went through the manual exercise, which was very well performed. After Commons the Sodality met, at Foster's Chamber; and play'd several Tunes. Broke up, as is customary at 9 o'clock.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0008-0014

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-09-14


White went to Haverhill. I determined with Little upon two Pieces, to publish in the next Magazine for the A B. Concluded my Forensic, for the exhibition. Weather begins to be quite cold.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0008-0015

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-09-15


I copied a part of Fiske's Oration, upon Patriotism, to be printed in the next Boston Magazine,1 from the A B. Finished reading Jenyns's Disquisitions.2 I think they show great judgment and deep penetration. I know not that I ever read, so small a volume that gave me greater Pleasure.
Abiel Abbot,3 was 20. the 14th. of last December. He is one of the good scholars in our Class, and a pretty writer. His disposition is amiable, and his modesty so great, that it gives him a poor opinion of himself, which he by no means deserves. He proposes for the Pulpit, and has I believe every Qualification necessary to make him, a good Preacher: and his example, I have no doubt, as well as his Precepts, will recommend all the moral Duties.
1. The Boston Magazine ceased publication with a combined November-December issue and without Fiske's article.
2. Soame Jenyns, Disquisitions on Several Subjects, London, 1782.
3. “Abbot 2d,” after studying theology in Andover, returned to Harvard as tutor, 1794–1795. Following some years of preaching in Coventry, Conn., he became principal of Governor Dummer Academy, Byfield, Mass., in 1811 and later was minister at Peterborough, N.H. (Abiel Abbot and Ephraim Abbot, A Genealogical Register of the Descendants of George Abbot..., Boston, 1847, p. 7–8).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0008-0016

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-09-16


Copied off my Forensic for the Exhibition, and prepared it, to carry for Approbation to the President. I received in the fore• { 96 } noon, a Letter from Delia.1 White return'd this Evening from Haverhill.
1. Letter not found. Delia was the name JQA gave to Nancy Hazen in his poem, “An Epistle to Delia,” which he completed on 12 Dec. 1785 after resolving to put an end to his feelings toward her. The name may have been derived from the collection of 16th-century sonnets by Samuel Daniel about another Delia, the love of the poet's youth (M/JQA/28, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 223).
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.