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Browsing: Diary of John Quincy Adams, Volume 2

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0006-0019

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-07-19


At about 7 1/2 in the morning I set out for Cambridge, and arrived there just as the Clock struck ten. I found the Crowd large. At about half after eleven the procession arrived and took their Seats in the meeting house. The performances began, with a Salutatory Latin Oration by Champlin, which was followed by a Poem on Commerce by Fowle, which was very good. A Syllogistic on the Question whether the Soul thinks between Death and resurrection. Bradford respondent. A Forensic, “whether religious disputation promotes the interests of true Piety,” supported by Crosby, and denied by Bigelow extremely well. A Poem, containing a sketch of the history of Poetry, by S. Gardiner, well written, and well delivered. A Syllogistic, “whether virtue consists in benevolence alone,” Norton respondent. A greek dialogue, between Lincoln, and Warland. A Forensic between Lowell and Taylor. “Whether the happiness of a People depends upon the Constitution, or upon the administration of it.” Lowell had as many antic tricks, and made as many grimaces, as any ape could have done. A Syllogistic, whether the mosaic account of the creation respects the solar System only. Simpkins respondent. A Conference upon History, Metaphysics, Poetry and natural Philosophy, between Parker, Dwight, Harris, and Hubbard, this Closed the morning performances, though it was past 3 o'clock.1 I returned to the meeting house, at half past four, but the procession did not come till near 6. There were then. A Latin Oration by Andrews,2 a Forensic “Whether the Powers of Congress ought to be enlarged” between Sullivan and Loring, who maintained the wrong side of the Question by far the best.3 A Syllogistic Whether the heavenly bodies produce certain changes upon animal bodies. Wyeth respondent. Part of this was omitted which caused a pretty general clap, and finally an English Oration by Blake;4 which did him credit.
The candidates for Master's degrees then came on, and an English Oration upon the present situation of affairs, was delivered by Mr. H. G. Otis, and after they had gone through the ceremony of receiving the degrees, a valedictory Latin Oration was spoken by Mr. Townsend.5 The president then wound all up with a prayer. The house was as full as it could hold, and there was a little disturbance happened in the afternoon about some places. The Class are rather disappointed by the absence of their favor• { 68 } | view ite Thomson who is so unwell, as prevented him from appearing this day.
I spent great part of the evening with Bridge. The new Sirs, got quite high, at Derby's chamber, and made considerable of a noise.
1. The English oration by Thomas Thompson, which was to follow, was canceled because of his illness. Thompson's subject was “The obligation nations are under to keep their faith, fulfill their engagements and in all respects govern themselves by the strictest rules of justice; and the influence of such a conduct upon the public prosperity and happiness; with wishes that the United States of America may thus distinguish themselves” (MH-Ar: Faculty Records, 5:230–231).
2. Upon “The importance of the Public's doing every thing in their power to promote the interests of the University; in which oration our political Fathers were particularly addressed, and their patronage warmly bespoken” (same, p. 231).
3. The faculty records list Joseph Loring's name first, presumably taking the affirmative (same).
4. Upon “The love of true glory, and its happy tendency, when united with public Spirit in virtuous men, to excite and engage them to accomplish themselves for great usefulness in the world—and the importance of fostering such a disposition” (same, p. 232).
5. Horatio Townsend, of Medfield, who studied law with JQA in the Newburyport office of Theophilus Parsons and later practiced in Norfolk co. (History of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men, comp. D. Hamilton Hurd, Phila., 1884, p. 15).

Docno: ADMS-03-02-02-0001-0006-0020

Author: Adams, John Quincy
Date: 1786-07-20


A List of the Class that graduated yesterday.
  John Andrews   Divinity.1  
  Samuel Andrews   Law  
x   John Bartlett  died in 1786.    
  Timothy Bigelow   Law  
  Joseph Blake   Do.  
  Samuel Borland    
  Nathaniel Bowman   Physic.  
  Alden Bradford   Divinity  
  Christopher Grant Champlin    
  Daniel Colt    
  Amos Crosby +    
  William Cutler   Physic.  
  John Derby   Commerce  
  William Dodge   Sea  
  Josiah Dwight    
  Robert Fowle   Divinity.  
  Elias [Elisha] Gardener    
  Samuel [Pickering] Gardener   Commerce  
{ 69 } | view
  John Gibaut   Sailor  
  Robert Gray Settled at Dover   Divinity.  
  James Gray    
  William Harris   Divinity.  
  Ebenezer Hill    
  Nathaniel How[e]    
  Dudley Hubbard   Law  
  Jonathan Leonard    
  Henry Lincoln   Divinity  
  Joseph Loring   Physic  
  John Lowell   Law  
  Porter Lummus    
  Jacob Norton + Settled at Weymouth   Divinity.  
  Isaac Parker   Law  
  David Pearce   Commerce.  
  Thaddeus Pomeroy    
  Jonathan E[dwards] Porter    
  Isaac Rand    
  John Simpkins   Divinity  
x   James Sullivan + died in 1787.    
  John Taylor   Law  
  Joseph Thomas    
  Thomas Thompson   Law  
  John [Eugene] Tyler    
x   John Warland died in 1788    
  Joseph Warren    
  Tapley Wyeth +   Physic  
I set out from Cambridge between eight and nine. Stop'd and dined at General Warren's in Milton; and got home at about 4 o'clock. Mr. Shaw and my brother Tom, arrived soon after me.
1. Death dates and occupations were probably added on at least two separate occasions. The reason for the crosses after the names of Crosby, Norton, Sullivan, and Wyeth is uncertain.
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, 2018.