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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0008-0023

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-08-22


Dined at Judge Sargeant's, with Mr. and Mrs. Shaw. Mr. Porter and his lady are there upon a visit from Rye: with a child about six weeks old, which forsooth immediately after dinner must be produced, and was handed about from one to another; and very shrewd discoveries were made of its resemblance to all the family by turns, whereas in fact it did resemble nothing but chaos. How much is the merciful author of nature to be adored for implanting in the heart of man a passion stronger than the power of reason, which affords delight to the parent at the sight of his offspring even at a Time, when to every other person it must be disgusting. Yet it appears to me, that parents would do wisely in keeping their children out of sight at least untill they are a year old, for I cannot see what satisfaction, either sensual or intellectual can be derived from seeing a misshapen, bawling, slobbering infant, unless to persons particularly interested.
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We drank tea likewise at the judge's, and return'd home between 7 and 8 in the evening.
Leonard White came up to give me a letter for his chum.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0008-0024

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-08-23


I left Haverhill this morning at about 9 o'clock; and at 12 arrived at the tavern in Wilmington, where I dined. At about 2 I again set off, and got to Cambridge a little before six. I came through Mystic and called at Mrs. Tufts's,1 to see my friend Freeman, but he was gone to Boston. When I got to Cambridge I found great alterations had taken place since I left College, Mr. Reed, and Mr. Burr have resigned, and likewise the librarian. Mr. Webber and Mr. Ware, were chosen as Tutors, but Mr. Ware declined accepting as he has an unanimous call to settle at Hingham, and will probably soon be ordain'd. Mr. Abbot has since that been chosen, and Mr. I. Smith was elected librarian, but has not yet accepted.
I passed the evening at several chambers among my old acquaintance, Phillips, Clarke, Lincoln, and my classmate Packard; the only one now in town. Indeed it seemed extraordinary to walk through the college yard and the town, finding scholars every where, yet without seeing one of those with whom I was the most closely connected. It made me quite dull.
1. Probably Elizabeth Hall Tufts (1743–1830), the second wife and widow of Dr. Simon Tufts, an older brother of Dr. Cotton Tufts and a cousin of AA.

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0002-0008-0025

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1787-08-24


I lodg'd last night with Lincoln, the senior, whose chum was out of town. Breakfasted this morning with Mr. Andrews, who returned from Hingham last evening. I visited Mr. James and Doctor Jennison: both were very polite. The Doctor informs me, that several material alterations are about to take place, with respect to the plan of studies pursued here. Doddridge, is to be put entirely into the hands of the theological professor, which is its proper place, and some attention to History is to be called forth by the recitations on Saturday mornings. The mathematics will be taught in better order than they have been heretofore, and indeed it always appear'd absurd to me, that Sophimores should study Euclid, and learn common arithmetic after they com• { 280 } mence Juniors. Henceforth arithmetic, with some little practical geometry, surveying, trigonometry &c are to be taught them before they begin upon Euclid—All the changes, which the doctor mentioned, will I think be for the better.
Dined with Mr. Andrews, and passed the afternoon at college.
Just as I was going in to prayers, I was stopped by a couple of french officers from on board the fleet now lying in Boston Harbour. They desired to see the colleges. I waited on them into the library, the museum and the philosophy chamber. After they had satisfied their curiosity, they set out for Boston, and I for Braintree. It was between six and seven o'clock before I got away, at about nine I arrived at Braintree, where I found all my friends well.
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.