Diary of John Adams, volume 2

1776. Jany. 25. Thursday.

1776. Sunday. Jany. 28.

1776 Jany 26. Fryday. JA


1776 Jany 26. Fryday. Adams, John
1776 Jany 26. Fryday.

Stopped at Sternes's Stearns's in Worcester, and dined with Mr. 228Lincoln at Mr. Jonathan Williams's.1 In Putnams Office where I formerly trimm'd the Midnight Lamp, Mr. Williams keeps Laws Works and Jacob Behmens, with whose Mistical Reveries he is much captivated.2


This Jonathan Williams (d. 1780), Harvard 1772, had been a law clerk in JA's office. He was a cousin of the better-known Jonathan Williams (1750–1815), Benjamin Franklin's great-nephew, who a little later crossed JA's path when serving as American agent at Nantes and who became first superintendent of the military academy at West Point; see DAB . On JA's law clerk see “Suffolk Bar Book,” MHS, Procs. , 1st ser., 19 (1881–1882):151; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; John Thaxter to JA, 7 Aug. 1780, Adams Papers.


William Law, author of A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, 1728, and other religious works, was an English disciple of the German mystic Jakob Boehme or Behmen; see DNB under Law.