Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 1



9th. JQA


9th. Adams, John Quincy

Spent the forenoon with Mr. Thaxter at his office. He went with me, and introduced me, to Mr. White1 and his family. His Daughter Miss Peggy, is one of the belles of this place. I had heard much said of her before I went to the house; and when I saw her, I supposed that must be Mrs. White.2 She is very fat and appears much older than she is: I should certainly suppose her not under 30, and she is not yet 20. But she is as fair as any person I ever saw: too much so, I think, to be beautiful: this may be a paradox: but my ideas of beauty are not like those of many People, and I do not admire a complexion over fair. Dined at My uncle's, and directly after dinner I went with my uncle, and two aunts, over the river, to pay a visit to Mr. Symme's, the minister at Andover, about 7 miles from the ferry. We found the old gentleman laid up; but he received his Company with politeness. After staying there about 2 hours, we return'd again to Haverhill. The roads are pretty good, but for want of rain are now disagreeably dusty. We found on our return a large Company of young ladies, with Miss Hazen.3 This is a neice of General Hazen and has boarded in my uncle's house about a twelve month. She appears to me to have something peculiar in her Character: I shall therefore wait, till I have a better acquaintance with her; before I attempt to give any description of it.


John White Sr. (1725–1800), a Haverhill merchant (Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates , 13:154–156).


Sarah Leonard LeBaron White, the second wife of John Sr., and mother of Peggy and Leonard (same, 6:326).


After the death of Anna (Nancy) Hazen's father, Capt. John Hazen, and the remarriage of her mother, she became the ward of her uncle, Gen. Moses Hazen of Haverhill, Mass., and Troy, N.Y., who was a cousin of the Whites. Nancy was to become the first girl JQA was really attracted to, but her continued presence was to cause him much discomfort eventually (Tracy Elliot Hazen, The Hazen Family in America, ed. Donald Lines Jacobus, Thomaston, Conn., 1947, p. 89–90).