Early Diary of John Adams, volume 1

26 Tuesday.

28. Thurdsday.

27 Wednesday. JA


27 Wednesday. Adams, John
27 Wednesday.

At Colledge. A Clowdy morning. Afternoon, together with Lock,1 took a ride to Watertown-Bridge and from thence round through Brookline Back to Colledge again.2


Samuel Locke (1732–1778), of Lancaster, Harvard 1755, later minister at Sherborn and, from 1770 to 1773, a most ill-fated president of Harvard College (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates , 13:620–627; see also JA, Diary and Autobiography , 3:260).


The route from Cambridge to Brookline would under normal conditions have been across “the Great Bridge over Charles-River in Cambridge,” built in 1662–1663 and located “at the foot of Brighton Street [now Boylston Street]” (Mass., House Jour. , 29:99; Lucius R. Paige, History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630–1877, Boston, 1877, p. 195). A petition to the General Court in Dec. 1752, however, indicates that the bridge “received such a Shock the last Winter by the Ice” that “a thorough Repair” became an “absolute Necessity” (Mass., House Jour. , 29:99). On 2 July 1753 the Boston Evening-Post gave notice: “Whereas the great Bridge in Cambridge has for some Time past been out of Repair, so that there was no passing over it; This is to inform the Publick, that the said Bridge is now so far repaired, that Chairs, Chaises, and other Carriages may pass over it with Safety.”

The bridge in Watertown, also known as the “great Bridge,” was built in 1718– 1719 and crossed the Charles River near the present Watertown Square at Galen Street (Watertown Records, Watertown and Newton, Mass., 1894–1939, 2:256–257, 261, 263; G. Frederick Robinson and Ruth Robinson Wheeler, Great Little Watertown: A Tercentenary History, Watertown, Mass., 1930, p. 48).