Sunday Septr. 13th. .
I did not sleep a wink the whole night. My nerves are in a very disagreeable state of irritation. I attended meeting all day at Dr. Tucker’s, with Bridge. I called in the evening at Mr. N. Carter’s, and at Mr. Tufts’s to deliver letters. At Mr. Tufts’s I saw Mr. Shaw, who, I find preached for Mr. Andrews this day. I retired early, and went to bed, but could get no sleep. After laying about three hours, I got up and went over to Dr. Swett, and requested him to supply me with an opiate, which he did; it gradually composed my nerves, and gave me a few hours of sleep.1
1. This is the first of several references during the fall of 1788 to JQA’s uncertain state of health. David Musto has argued that he was in a depressed state of mind, owing to the pressure that his family was placing on him to distinguish himself (to perpetuate the “family myth”) and to his own worries about his future in an overcrowded legal profession. Musto’s explanation for the resolution of these difficulties, which apparently occurred only months later, is largely undocumented (“The Youth of John Quincy Adams,” Amer. Philos. Soc., Procs. description begins American Philosophical Society, Proceedings. description ends , 113:269–282 [Aug. 1969]).