Diary of John Adams, volume 2

July 25. and 26. Thursday and Fryday.

1771. Aug. 8 i.e. 9. Fryday.

July 27. Saturday. JA July 27. Saturday. Adams, John
July 27. Saturday.

The Jury this Morning delivered their Verdict, for £2000 Sterling Damages, and Costs.—I have spent this Morning in reading the Centinells. There is a profuse Collection of Knowledge in them, in Law, History, Government, that indicates to me the only Author, I think. A great Variety of Knowledge.1

The Subject of the Governors Independency, is a serious, a dangerous, and momentous Thing. It deserves the utmost Attention.


A series of 40 more or less regular weekly essays on current constitutional and political questions appeared in Thomas' Massachusetts Spy, May 1771–March 1772, over the signature of “A Centinel.” Though JA thought he knew who wrote them, no further evidence has yet been found on this point. They parallel JA's own thinking, show substantial learning in law and history, and Gov. Hutchinson evidently suspected that JA was the author (see 2 Feb. 1772, below); but for numerous reasons this is an unacceptable hypothesis.