July 27. 1796 Wednesday.
Billings and Sullivan making and liming an heap of Manure. They compounded it, of Earth carted in from the Ground opposite the Garden where the Ha! Ha Wall is to be built, of Salt Hay and Seaweed trodden by the Cattle in the Yard, of Horse dung from the Stable, and of Cow dung left by the Cows, over all this Composition they now and then sprinkle a layer of Lime. Bass and Thomas hoeing Potatoes in the lower Garden.
I rode up to The Barn, which Mr. Pratt has almost shingled, and over to the Plain, but found My Tenants were at work in my Fathers old Swamp, which I could not reach without more trouble than I was willing to take.
Dr. Welsh1 came up, with two young Gentlemen from New York, Mr. John and Mr. Henry Cruger, the youngest of whom studies with my son Charles as a Lawyer, who gives him an excellent Character.2 They are journeying Eastward as far as Portland and return by Albany. The Eldest of them has lately return’d from the East Indies.
1. Thomas Welsh (1752?–1831), Harvard 1772, a Boston physician, had in 1777 married Abigail Kent, AA’s first cousin. He and his family maintained very close relations with the Adamses over two or three generations, and Welsh’s successive residences served frequently as headquarters for members of the Adams family when they were in Boston. See a biographical sketch of Welsh in JQA, Life in a New England Town description begins Life in a New England Town: 1787, 1788. Diary of John Quincy Adams, While a Student in the Office of Theophilus Parsons at Newburyport, Boston, 1903. description ends , p. 25, note, and another, which adds further details, in Walter L. Burrage, A History of the Massachusetts Medical Society ... 1781–1922, [Boston], 1923, p. 32–33.
2. CA had been graduated at Harvard in 1789. He then went to New York to live with his parents and was placed in Alexander Hamilton’s law office; but when Hamilton was appointed secretary of the treasury later that year CA was transferred to the office of John Laurance, a Federalist congressman, later a U.S. senator from New York, and a large speculator in wild lands. Upon completing his legal training, CA opened an office of his own in Hanover Square, New York City. In Aug. 1795 he married Sarah, or Sally, Smith, sister of AA2’s husband, WSS; two daughters were born of this marriage. For a time things went well with the family, and CA continued his frequent and affectionate correspondence with his father. But CA had, or developed, intemperate habits and died in his thirty-first year after a brief illness, 30 Nov. 1800, adding another bitter draft to that which his father was obliged to swallow at this very time by losing the election for a second term as President. (JA to Hamilton, 21 July 1789, and to John Laurance [“Lawrence”], 19 Sept. 1789, letterbook copies, Adams Papers. CA to AA, 15 Aug., and to JA, 20 Aug. 1792, Adams Papers. AA to Mrs. Cranch, 8 Dec. 1800, MWA; AA, New Letters description begins New Letters of Abigail Adams, 1788–1801, ed. Stewart Mitchell, Boston, 1947. description ends , p. 261–262. JA to F. A. Van der Kemp, 28 Dec. 1800, LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Works description begins The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, ed. Charles Francis Adams, Boston, 1850–1856; 10 vols. description ends , 9:576–577. N.Y. Geneal. and Biog. Record, 13:87 [April 1882]. Arthur J. Alexander, “Judge John Laurance, Successful Investor in New York State Lands,” New York History, 42:35–45 [Jan. 1944])