August 24. 1796. Wednesday.
Billings, Bass and the Lothrops upon the Wall. The blacks going to pick Apples. I took Rhubarb and Salt of Wormwood.
Bathing my Feet and drinking balm Tea, last night composed me somewhat, and I hope the Rhubarb and Salt of Wormwood I took this Morning will carry off my Complaints: but the Pain in my head and the burnings in my hands and feet were so like the Commencement of my Fevers of 1781 at Amsterdam and of 1783 at Paris and Auteuil, that I began to be allarmed.
Mr. and Mrs. Norton dined with Us.
Old Mr. Thomas Adams of Medfield, the Father of Hannah Adams, the Author of The View of Religions, came in to return a Volume he borrowed last Spring of Bryants Analysis of the ancient Mythology, and to borrow the other two Volumes which I lent him.1
Brisler and the black Boys picking Apples.
1. Thomas Adams of Medfield was a distant cousin of JA; considered eccentric because he doted on books, he acquired the name “Book Adams.” However, he returned all three volumes of Jacob Bryant’s New System, or an Analysis of Ancient Mythology, 2d edn., London, 1775–1776, for they may be found among JA’s books in the Boston Public Library.
His daughter Hannah Adams (1755–1831) was “probably the first woman in America to make writing a profession” (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 ), and was accordingly much patronized by literary Boston. Her View of Religions, in Two Parts, an enlargement of an earlier work, was published in Boston, 1791, and was dedicated to JA, who subscribed for three copies. Though a mere compilation, this is still a useful book. See Hannah Adams to JA, 21 Feb. 1791, Adams Papers; and JA’s reply, 10 March, LbC, Adams Papers; also the engaging Memoir of Miss Hannah Adams, Written by Herself. With Additional Notices, by a Friend, Boston, 1832.