Diary of John Adams, volume 1

Monday March 17th. 1766. JA


Monday March 17th. 1766. Adams, John
Monday March 17th. 1766.

Rain. A Piece in Evening Post March 10th. Remarks and Observations on Hutchinson’s History.1 The Writer seems concerned least his Country men should incur the Censure of hissing from the stage all Merit of their own Growth.

But Q. Allowing Mr. Hutchinsons great Merit, what Disposition has his Country men discovered to hiss it from the Stage? Has not his Merit been sounded very high by his Country men?—for 20 Years? Have not his Countrymen loved, admired, revered, rewarded, nay almost adored him? Have not 99 in an 100 of them really thought him, the greatest and best Man in America? Has not the Perpetual Language of many Members of both Houses, and of a Majority of his Brother Councillors been, that Mr. Hutchinson is a great Man, a pious, a wise, a learnd, a good Man, an eminent Saint, a Phylosopher &c, the greatest Man in the Province, the greatest on the Continent? Nay have not many proceeded almost to Nay has not the Affection and Admiration of his Countrymen, arisen so high, as often to style him, the greatest and best Man in the World? that they never saw nor heard, nor read of such a Man?—a Sort of Apotheosis like that of Alexander and that of Caesar while they lived?

As to Rewards, have they not admitted him to the highest Honours, and Profits, in the Province? Have they not assisted him chearfully in raising himself and his family to allmost all the Honours and Profits—to the Exclusion of much better Men? Have they not rewarded him so far, as to form invincible Combinations to involve every Man of any 307Learning and Ingenuity, in generall Detestation, Obloquy, and Ruin, who has been so unfortunate as to think him rather too craving?

There is also another Piece, in the same Paper, called Remarks on the Times, possibly by the same Hand—about Political Enthusiasm, disordered Pulses, Precipices, Vertigoes, falling on ragged Cliffs, Men of hot enthusiastical Turn of Mind, &c.2

Went to Town Meeting thro a fierce Wind, a soaking Rain, and miry Roads and Banks of Snow.3


Signed “J.” The History of the Colony of Massachusets-Bay... [1628–1691], “By Mr. Hutchinson, Lieutenant-Governor of the Massachuse’ts Province,” was printed by Thomas & John Fleet, Boston, 1764, the first of three volumes ultimately published.


This piece is unsigned. CFA furnishes a sample from it in a footnote, JA, Works , 2:190.


This town meeting seems to have had no political overtones, being chiefly concerned with regulations to prevent obstructions to “the fish called Alewives” in the Monatiquot River and with the laying out of new roads ( Braintree Town Records , p. 409–411).

Tuesday. 18th. JA


Tuesday. 18th. Adams, John
Tuesday. 18th.

Went to Weymouth, found the Family mourning the Loss, and preparing for the Funeral of old Tom.—After my Return, rode to Mr. Halls,1 and in my Return stopped at Mr. Jo. Basses, for the Papers. Major Miller soon afterwards came in, and he and I looked on each other, without Wrath or shame or Guilt, at least without any great Degree of Either, ’tho I must own I did not feel exactly as I used to in his Company, and I am sure by his Face and Eyes, that he did not in mine. We were very Social, &c.


Probably John Hall (1698–1780), usually referred to in local records as “Lieutenant Hall,” who in December of the present year married JA’s widowed mother (Quincy, First Church, MS Records).

Wednesday. March 19th. 1766. JA


Wednesday. March 19th. 1766. Adams, John
Wednesday. March 19th. 1766.

At Home.

Thursday March 20th. JA


Thursday March 20th. Adams, John
Thursday March 20th.

At Mrs. Baxters Funeral.

Fryday March 21st. JA


Fryday March 21st. Adams, John
Fryday March 21st.

A fine Spring like Morning. The Birds of many Sorts, as sprightly and musical.

Fryday, March 28th. 1766. JA


Fryday, March 28th. 1766. Adams, John
Fryday, March 28th. 1766.

I have omitted writing a Week. Dr. Tufts lodged here last Night 308with Yesterdays Paper. The Jany. Packet, arrived at N. York, has brought the King’s Speech, the Address of Lords and Commons, 14th. Jany., and many private Letters, which inform that Mr. Pitt was in the House of Commons and declared himself vs. Greenville Grenville, and for a Repeal of the Stamp Act, upon Principle. Called it, the most impolitic, arbitrary, oppressive, and unconstitutional Act that ever was passed. Denyed that We were represented in the House of Commons. (Q. whether the House of Commons, or the Parliament). And asserted that the House granted Taxes in their Representative Capacity, not in their Legislative. And therefore, that the Parliament had not Right to tax the Colonies.

Q. What has been said in America which Mr. Pitt has not confirmed? Otis, Adams, Hopkins, &c. have said no more. Hampden, F.A., the Feudal System And Lord Clarendon, have gone no further than Pitt. No Epithets have been used in America worse than impolitic, arbitrary, oppressive, unconstitutional, unless it be cursed, damned, supercursed &c.

What shall we think of Mr. Pitt? What shall we call him? The Genius, and Guardian Angell of Britain and British America? Or what? Is it possible that Greenville, offensive to his King, dissagreable to the People, should prevail vs. the whole new Ministry and Mr. Pitt?