Adams Papers

1776 Jany 26. Fryday.

1776 Jany 26. Fryday.

Stopped at Sternes’s [Stearns’s] in Worcester, and dined with Mr. Lincoln at Mr. Jonathan Williams’s.1 In Putnams Office where I formerly trimm’d the Midnight Lamp, Mr. Williams keeps Laws Works and Jacob Behmens, with whose Mistical Reveries he is much captivated.2

1This Jonathan Williams (d. 1780), Harvard 1772, had been a law clerk in JA’s office. He was a cousin of the better-known Jonathan Williams (1750–1815), Benjamin Franklin’s great-nephew, who a little later crossed JA’s path when serving as American agent at Nantes and who became first superintendent of the military academy at West Point; see DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; 20 vols. plus index and supplements. description ends . On JA’s law clerk see “Suffolk Bar Book,” MHS, Procs. description begins Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections and Proceedings. description ends , 1st ser., 19 (1881–1882):151; Harvard Quinquennial Cat.; description begins Harvard University, Quinquennial Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates, 1636–1930, Cambridge, 1930. description ends John Thaxter to JA, 7 Aug. 1780, Adams Papers.

2William Law, author of A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, 1728, and other religious works, was an English disciple of the German mystic Jakob Boehme or Behmen; see DNB description begins Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds., The Dictionary of National Biography, New York and London, 1885–1900; 63 vols. plus supplements. description ends under Law.

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