Diary of John Quincy Adams, volume 2



4th. JQA


4th. Adams, John Quincy

No reciting this morning, on account of the last Nights Class meeting. This is a privelege, that all the Classes, and joy,1 and I am told there have been in our Class fellows, so lazy, and so foolish, as to call a Class meeting merely for that Purpose.

I went to Boston this morning, with Leonard White. Sauntered about Town; almost all the forenoon. Dined at My Uncle Smith's. In returning, Leonard, and I, were all the Time, disputing, upon Love, and Matrimony. Upon the whole, his System, is the best I believe, though, it might be carried to extremes, that would be very hurtful.

I saw to day in the News Papers, of a duel fought between Mr. Curson, (who is mentioned: p: 115) and a Mr. Burling, in which the former was kill'd.2 The Circumstances, that caused it, were not honourable, to the Person, that fell, and if ever a duel, was justifiable, it is surely, in such a case as this.


Thus in MS; probably an inadvertence for “enjoy.”


JQA had met Samuel Curson, a New York merchant, on 21 July 1785. Burling, from Baltimore, accused Curson of injuring his family, and pursued him to the West Indies, London, and finally back to New York, where he challenged Curson to a duel. Curson agreed to meet him, but refused to fire because he claimed he had done Burling no injury. After an exchange of words, Burling killed him (Massachusetts Centinel, 3 May).