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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0004-0004

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-04-04


Employ'd great part of the day in collecting the theses. I have now as many as I shall want excepting five or six in fluxions1 which I cannot easily find, as I do not understand the doctrine enough for my own satisfaction: in the evening the sodality met at Mayo's chamber, and play'd till 9.
I was very much fatigued and retired to bed quite early.
Timothy Fuller2 of Needham, Suffolk County, will be 22. the 26th. of next July. I have very little acquaintance with this person, and his character is such as will not induce me to cultivate an intimacy with him. His countenance is perfectly stupid, and has no other expression than that of gin or brandy, his chief talent lies in drinking largely of these liquors without apparent intoxication, and in smoking tobacco; and this talent he improves by incessant application; as a classmate I insert his name, and my plan obliges me to give the traits which distinguish his character. I would fain mention his virtues; but if he possesses any they are too deep to be perceived by common observation.
{ 194 }
1. That is, differential calculus (OED).
2. Fuller became a physician in Needham (Francis H. Fuller, “Descendants of Ensign Thomas Fuller, of Dedham,” Dedham Historical Register, 5:128 [July 1894]).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0004-0005

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-04-05


At eleven this forenoon, Mr. Williams gave us, the second, philosophical lecture: it was upon the incidental properties of matter, and excepting very few deviations, was expressed in the same terms with that we had last year upon the same subject: indeed, whether the professor's time is taken up by other studies, or whether he is too indolent to make any improvements in his lectures, it is said he gives every year the same course, without adding or erasing a line.
However interesting the subject may be, there are many students who find no entertainment in the repetition of what they have already heard and frequently read; and I must myself confess that these lectures which were highly entertaining last year, afford me little amusement or instruction at present: if the experiments and the observations upon them were somewhat varied, I should now attend the lectures with as much satisfaction as I received from them last year.
Drank tea at Foster's chamber. Mr. Bissi was there. In the evening I went with Cranch, and Mead to Mr. Pearson's; I invited the ladies to my chamber exhibition day: the professor himself was not at home. We also went and passed about an hour at Mr. Hilliard's.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0004-0006

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-04-06


We this day returned our books to the library.
I went immediately after prayers to Mr. Wiggles worth's; where I found only Mr. Ellery and Miss Peggy: I waited there a short time and went from thence to Mr. Williams's, but did not find a soul at home. I spent a couple of hours in the evening with Sever at Mr. Gerry's. Mrs. Gerry was quite unwell, so that we neither saw her nor her Sister.
Thomas Hammond1 of Rochester, Plymouth C: was 20 the 17th. of last August. He has a mixture of good and bad qualities, so equally poised, that it is difficult to determine, whether his character may be called good or bad. He has it is said an independent spirit; but I believe few students at this place distinguish properly between independence and impudence: it is certain { 195 } that Hammond, by this same independent spirit has indisposed every governor of the university against him; and whether this circumstance is much to his credit, an impartial world may determine: he is studious, and has a good knowledge of the Latin Language in particular. As a metaphysician some think him acute, but I have more frequently known him to dispute about words, and dabble with trifles, than to reason with superior judgment or genius. His moral conduct is not wild or extravagant, but at times his profanity, will make the most abandoned, stare. In short if he has any principles they are certainly not such as I should wish a friend of mine to adopt.
1. Hammond became a lawyer and settled in New Bedford (Fleet's Pocket Almanack and Massachusetts Register, 1794).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2016.