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3119 [March 1754]. (Adams Papers)
This morning is beyond description, Beautyfull, the Skie bespangled with Clouds which shed a lustre on us by the refraction of the rays of light, together with the healthy and enlivening air, which was purifyed By the thunder, afford most spirited materials for Contemplation. The gaiety of the weather is equally delightfull to the phylosopher, Poet and the man of Pleasure. The Phylosopher...
32April 1st. 1754. (Adams Papers)
Then, Mr. Winthrop began a Course of Experimental Written in JA ’s experimental hand of 1754–1756, with this fragmentary line canceled and the date heading certainly intended to be. This false beginning of JA ’s notes on Winthrop’s lectures heads p. {7} of the MS and was lined out, presumably at once, because JA supposed that he would need more space than he had left for his (unwritten)...
Mr. Winthrop began a series of Experimental Phylosophy , and in the 1st place he explained to us the meaning, nature, and excellence of natural phylosophy, which is, (he says) the knowledge of those laws by which all the Bodys, in the universe are restrained, it being evident that not only those great masses of matter the heavenly Bodys, but all the minutest combinations of matter in each of...
34April 3d. 1754. (Adams Papers)
The second lecture, which was wholly taken up in explaining the Propertys of the Centers of gravity and motion, which were applyed to the instruments, Cheifly in use in Common life, such as, the lever, pulley, Ballance axis in peritrocheo, &c. But the Ballance was principally insisted on. The reason of it was fully explained and the method of weighing, viz the distances of the Bodys from the...
35April 5th. 1754. (Adams Papers)
The theory of the Ballance, scales, steel-yard &c. and all and the 3 species of lever’s continued to which (viz) the lever he referred allmost all the instruments in life, and universally. To make a aequilibrium, the product of the quantity of matter in the weight multiplyed into its distance from the Center of motion, must be equal to the quantity of matter in the power, multiplyed into it’s...
36April 6th. 1754. (Adams Papers)
The phaenomina of The nature of the Pulley, axis in peritrochaeo, and inclined Plane explained, which all depend on the laws before laid down (viz) that the quantity of matter in the weight bears the same proportion to the quantity of matter in the power, as the distance of the power from the Center of motion, to the distance of the weight from said Center.
37April 8th. 1754. (Adams Papers)
The Theory of simple machines and in particular of the inclined plane, of the wedge and screw, and other machines compounded of these simple ones, finish’d.
38April 9 1754. (Adams Papers)
Sir Isaac Newtons three laws of nature proved and illustrated, together with the application of them to the planets, which are kept in their orbits by two forces acting upon them, viz that of gravity and that which is call’d their Centrifugal force whereby it they strives to recede from the Center of their orbits, and fly off therefrom in tangents.
39April 10, 1754. (Adams Papers)
The theory of Centrifugal forces, continued; and aplyed to the Cases of the planets; and from this Centrifugal force, Mr. Winthrop confuted the hypothesis of vortices, from this also arises the spheroidal form of the earth.
40April 11 1754. (Adams Papers)
Some thing’s observed concerning gravity, which encreases as you approach the Center of the earth in a reciprocal proportion of the squares of the distances, and under this head were introduced pendula and we saw that all pendula of equall length oscilated in equal time whether the arches they described were greater or less. We were also inform’d that bodys falling in Chords of a Circle will...
Harvard College(?) and Worcester, mainly compiled in 1755–1756 , with some possibly earlier entries and one (not in JA ’s hand) much later. This is a MS book ( Adams Papers , M/JA/8; Microfilms , Reel No. 187), measuring 8″ x 6″, bound in vellum and containing 182 (unnumbered) pages, including occasional blank leaves or pages and a folded sheet of four pages laid in loose at the back that may...
The two last years of my Residence at Colledge, produced a Clubb of Students, I never knew the History of the first rise of it, who invited me to become one of them. Their plan was to spend their Evenings together, in reading any new publications, or any Poetry or Dramatic Compositions, that might fall in their Way. I was as often requested to read as any other, especially Tragedies, and it...
The Favour you granted me on aug. 12 was unluckily packeted with a number of Letters and carried to Leicester, but a certain kind Gentleman has just brought it to hand. I will not lessen the pleasure it gave by a Description. But one detestable quality that usually attends your Letters, I find has stain’d it. I think Phylosophers call it, brevity. But, on second reflection I am not surpriz’d....
I promised to write you an account of the scituation of my mind. The natural strength of my facultys is quite insufficient for the task. Attend therefore to the invocation. Oh! thou goddess, Muse, or Whatever is thy name who inspired immortal Miltons pen with a confusion ten thousand times confounded, when describing Satan’s Voyage thro’ Chaos, help me in the same cragged strains, to sing...
All that part of Creation that lies within our observation is liable to Change. Even mighty States and kingdoms, are not exempted. If we look into History we shall find some nations rising from contemp­ tible beginnings, and spreading their influence, ’till the whole Globe is subjected to their sway. When they have reach’d the summit of Grandeur, some minute and unsuspected Cause commonly...
46[November 1755] (Adams Papers)
We had a severe Shock of an Earthquake. It continued near four minutes. I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it. The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house. First entry in “Paper book No. 1” (D/JA/1), which is the first in the series of...
47November 18th. 1755. (Adams Papers)
We had a severe Shock of an Earthquake. It continued near four minutes. I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it. The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house. First entry in “Paper book No. 1” (D/JA/1), which is the first in the series of...
I receiv’d your favour of Decr. 29. about 3 or 4 Days after it was wrote. The bearer left it at the Tavern and proceeded on his journey, so that I despair’d of ever getting an opportunity of answering it, till this moment. I heartily sympathize with you in your affliction, which I am the better qualified to do as I am confined myself to a like place of Torment. When I compare The gay, the...
49[January 1756] (Adams Papers)
At Worcester. A very rainy Day. Kept school in the forenoon; but not in the afternoon, because of the weather and my own indisposition. JA had come to Worcester “about three weeks after his commencement” at Harvard to keep a school. (Commencement in 1755 fell on 16 July.) The circumstances of his appointment are related in his Autobiography. The school he kept was the “Center School,” built in...
50January the 14th. 1756. (Adams Papers)
At Worcester. A very rainy Day. Kept school in the forenoon; but not in the afternoon, because of the weather and my own indisposition. JA had come to Worcester “about three weeks after his commencement” at Harvard to keep a school. (Commencement in 1755 fell on 16 July.) The circumstances of his appointment are related in his Autobiography. The school he kept was the “Center School,” built in...
5115. (Adams Papers)
A fair morning and pretty warm. Kept school. Drank Tea at Mr. Swan’s, with Mr. Thayer.
5216 Fryday. (Adams Papers)
A fine morning. A large white frost upon the ground. Reading Hutcheson’s Introduction to moral Phylosophy. A beautiful Day and Evening. Din’d with Major Chandler. Francis Hutcheson, A Short Introduction to Moral Philosophy, in Three Books; Containing the Elements of Ethicks and the Law of Nature , Glasgow, 1747 , and later edns., was long a popular textbook in Scotland and America. A number of...
5317 Saturday. (Adams Papers)
A clowdy, dull, Day. Some snow about noon, and rain towards night. σπίζημαι, τα καθαρματα Ψυχησ. Plato. This passage remains a puzzle after examination by several authorities on Greek. It is not an accurate quotation from Plato, and nothing in the context gives a clue to what JA intended by the first word, which makes neither sense nor grammar as it stands. If we may read the first word as the...
5418 Sunday. (Adams Papers)
A fair morning. Heard Mr. Maccarty. Rev. Thaddeus Maccarty (1721–1784) , who at the preceding Harvard commencement had singled out JA to serve as schoolmaster in Worcester.
5519 Monday. (Adams Papers)
A rainy Day.
5620 Tuesday. (Adams Papers)
A fair, warm spring like Day. Drank Tea and supped at Mr. Greenes. For the first few months after he came to Worcester JA had “boarded with one Green at the Expence of the Town” ( JA , Autobiography), but since there were numerous Greens in Worcester at this period and since JA writes this name as “Green” and “Greene” interchangeably, none of those mentioned in the early Diary can be certainly...
5721 Wednesday. (Adams Papers)
A very rainy day. Dined with Coll. Chandlers Jur. Spent the Eve at Mr. Maccarty’s. Kept school. Nothing more.
5822 Thurdsday. (Adams Papers)
A fair morning. Fresh and lively Air. Drank Tea and supped at Mrs. Paine’s. Presumably Sarah (Chandler) Paine, daughter of Colonel or Judge John Chandler and wife of Timothy Paine (1730–1793) , currently a member of the General Court ( Stark, Loyalists of Mass . James H. Stark, The Loyalists of Massachusetts and the Other Side of the American Revolution, Boston, 1910. , p. 382–385).
5923 Fryday. (Adams Papers)
A fair and agreable Day. Kept School. Drank Tea, at Coll. Chandler’s Jur., and spent the Evening at Major Gardiners.
6024 Saturday. (Adams Papers)
A very high west Wind. Warm and cloudy. P.M. warm and fair.