Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 2

355 Friday February 1st. 1788. JQA Friday February 1st. 1788. Adams, John Quincy
Friday February 1st. 1788.

Pass'd a great part of the fore noon at Mr. Thaxter's. He is now quite in the family way: he dined with us at Mr. Shaw's; as did Leonard White and Sam Walker. In the afternoon we rode in a couple of sleighs about 6 miles down upon the river, and return'd just after dark. The party was agreeable; but Walker was an object of great pity. He has ruined his reputation irrevocably; the fairest Life henceforward, could only heal the wound; but the treacherous scar, must forever proclaim in indelible characters, that he once fell. Nor can his dearest friends help acknowledging to themselves, that this is viewing the prospect in its fairest light. To consider the appearances such as they must present themselves to the imagination of one disposed to see objects in their most unfavorable colours, must be shocking to the feelings of every one who was once his friend. He appears to be in a perpetual state of humiliation: he can enter into no satisfaction express'd by the company in which he appears. He can enjoy no amusement, and must feel a conscious inferiority to every one with whom he associates. Yet if he can be recovered at all it must be by softening measures. And those persons who wonder why people keep company with him, and wish rather to insult him, in his distress, are in my opinion to be esteemed but little better than himself. The disposition in human nature, to sink a man that has fallen, still lower than he is, would afford one of the richest themes for a misanthropist.

2d. JQA 2d. Adams, John Quincy

I dined with Walker at Mr. Thaxter's. My brother's both dined at Mr. White's. In the afternoon, we rode again in sleighs upon the river as far as we went yesterday. We had a number of songs, somewhat in the Collegiate stile; but in order to be exemplary return'd home quite early in the evening. Mr. Thaxter lives very agreeably, and has retracted his theory with respect to matrimony: and indeed I believe our sex are not less prone than the other to profess a System, which in fact, we wholly disbelieve.

Mrs. Shaw shew me a letter which she has been writing to Walker; and I am in hopes it may have a good effect upon him. If he has any sensibility, or any principles remaining he must be affected by it.

I had with Mr. Shaw some conversation upon the subject of 356the disorders which happened at College, in the course of the last quarter: his fears for my brothers are greater than mine: I am perswaded that Charles did not deserve the suspicions which were raised against him: and I have great hopes that his future conduct, will convince the governors of the University, that he was innocent.1


On 29 Nov., after Thanksgiving dinner, a number of students engaged in a disturbance in the college dining hall in which they broke windows and furniture. All students who could not prove that they had left the hall were charged for the damages. Several students, including CA, who served as waiters in the dining hall were especially singled out for not giving evidence against their fellow students concerning the disorder and were dismissed from their jobs (MH-Ar: Faculty Records, 5:278–279).