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1[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...
2November 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...
3[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...
4January 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...
515. (Adams Papers)
A fair morning and pretty warm. Kept school. Drank Tea at Mr. Swan’s, with Mr. Thayer.
616 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...
717 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...
818 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.
919 Monday. (Adams Papers)
A rainy Day.
1020 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...
1121 Wednesday. (Adams Papers)
A very rainy day. Dined with Coll. Chandlers Jur. Spent the Eve at Mr. Maccarty’s. Kept school. Nothing more.
1222 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).
1323 Fryday. (Adams Papers)
A fair and agreable Day. Kept School. Drank Tea, at Coll. Chandler’s Jur., and spent the Evening at Major Gardiners.
1424 Saturday. (Adams Papers)
A very high west Wind. Warm and cloudy. P.M. warm and fair.
1525 Sunday. (Adams Papers)
A cold Weather. Heard friend Thayer preach two ingenious discourses, from Jeremy 10th. 6. and 7. Supped att Coll. Chandlers.
1626 Monday. (Adams Papers)
A sharp piercing Air. Sat out for Uxbridge, arrived 2’o clock.
1727 Tuesday (Adams Papers)
Att my Uncles. Rev. Nathan Webb (1705–1772) , who in 1731 had married Ruth, a younger sister of Deacon John Adams of Braintree. Webb, who graduated at Harvard in 1725, was settled as the first minister at Uxbridge, Mass., in the year of his marriage and enjoyed a pastorate there of over forty years ( Sibley-Shipton, Harvard Graduates John Langdon Sibley and Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical...
1828 Wednesday. (Adams Papers)
Ditto. Thick weather, and some rain.
1929 Thurdsday. (Adams Papers)
Still, cloudy Weather. Set out for Worcester, Drank Tea in Sutton, with my class mate, Wheeler and arrived at Worcester about 7 o clock. Supped with Major Chandler. Very miry Roads.
2030 Friday. (Adams Papers)
Still, foggy, damp Weather. Kept School and dined at Mr. Greenes.
2131 Saturday. (Adams Papers)
A warm, spring-like Day. Kept School. Lodged at Mr. Maccartys, at night.
22[February 1756] (Adams Papers)
Pretty cold. Staid at Home, A.M. P.M. heard Mr. Maccarty. Lodg’d with him at night. Wrote to John Wentworth by Coll. Josiah Willard. Spent the Eve, sup’d and lodg’d at Major Chandler’s, with that universal Scholar, gay Companion, and accomplish’d Gentleman Mr. Robert Treat Pain. Misty, thick Weather. This letter to a classmate, who was to become the last royal governor of New Hampshire and...
23February. 1756. 1 Sunday. (Adams Papers)
Pretty cold. Staid at Home, A.M. P.M. heard Mr. Maccarty. Lodg’d with him at night.
242 Monday. (Adams Papers)
Wrote to John Wentworth by Coll. Josiah Willard. Spent the Eve, sup’d and lodg’d at Major Chandler’s, with that universal Scholar, gay Companion, and accomplish’d Gentleman Mr. Robert Treat Pain. Misty, thick Weather. This letter to a classmate, who was to become the last royal governor of New Hampshire and subsequently lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia (see DAB Allen Johnson and Dumas...
253 Tuesday. (Adams Papers)
Breakfasted at Gardiners. This morn the Weather clear’d away. As warm and brilliant as May. Kept School all Day.
264 Wednesday. (Adams Papers)
A charming warm Day. Dined at Coll. Chandler’s with Mr. Pain, Abel Willard and Ebenr. Thayer. Drank Tea at Mr. Timothy Paines and supp’d and spent the Eve at Major Chandlers with the same Company, very gaily.
275 Thurdsday. (Adams Papers)
A fair morning but some symptoms of a Change of Weather. Kept School. Spent the evening with Messrs. Paine, Putnam, Willard, Thayer, partly at home and partly at Mr. Putnams. James Putnam (1726–1789) , who was to teach JA law.
286 Fryday. (Adams Papers)
A cloudy morning. About 10 the sun brake out. A warm Day. Dined at Mr. Paines. Kept school. Spent the Evening at home. A windy Evening. Here and occasionally elsewhere in his early Diary JA used a symbolic sketch of the sun.
297 Saturday. (Adams Papers)
A Fair warm, day. Dined at the Judges. Drank Tea at Major Gardiners.
308 Sunday. (Adams Papers)
Heard Mr. Maccarty. Fine Weather.
319 Monday. (Adams Papers)
Fine Weather. Settled roads. Drank Tea and spent the Evening at Coll. Chandlers, very gaily, with much Company.
3210 Tuesday. (Adams Papers)
Fair Weather. Spent the Evening at Major Chandlers, with Major Greene and Mr. Maccarty. Charming Weather. Roads Setled.
3311 Wednesday. (Adams Papers)
Serene Weather, but somewhat cool. I am constantly forming, but never executing good resolutions. I take great Pleasure, in viewing and examining the magnificent Prospects of Nature, that lie before us in this Town. If I cast my Eyes one Way, I am entertained with the Savage and unsightly appearance of naked woods and leafless Forests. In another place a chain of broken and irregular...
3412 Thurdsday. (Adams Papers)
A cool, but pleasant morning. Heard Mr. Welman Wellman preach the Lecture, and drank Tea, with him, at home where he made this observation, (viz.) That Dr. Mayhew was a smart man, but he embraced some doctrines, not generally approved. Jonathan Mayhew (1720–1766), Harvard 1744 ; D.D., Aberdeen 1749; minister of the West Church, Boston; early famous for his radical theological and political...
3513 Fryday. (Adams Papers)
A pleasant morning. Saw my classmates Gardner, and Wheeler. Wheeler dined, spent the afternoon, and drank Tea with me. Supped at Major Gardiners, and ingag’d to keep School at Bristol, provided Worcester People, at their insuing March meeting, should change this into a moving School, not otherwise. Major Greene this Evening fell into some conversation with me about the Divinity and...
3614 Saturday. (Adams Papers)
Good Weather. This afternoon took a Vomit of Tartar Emet. and Turbith mineral, that worked 7 Times, and wrecked me much. Turpeth, turbith: “A cathartic drug prepared from the root of East Indian jalap, Ipomoea Turpethum ”( OED The Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford, 1933; 12 vols. and supplement. ).
3715 Sunday. (Adams Papers)
Charming Weather. A.M. staid at home reading the Independent Whig. Very often Shepherds that are hired, to take care of their Masters sheep, go about their own Concern’s and leave the flock to the Care of their Dog. So Byshops, who are appointed to oversee the flock of Christ, take the Fees themslves, but leave the Drudgery to their Dogs, alias i.e. curates and understrappers. [Thomas Gordon...
3816 Monday. (Adams Papers)
A most beautiful morning. We have the most moderate Winter that ever was known in this country. For a long time together we have had serene and temperate Weather and all the Roads perfectly settled and smooth like Summer.—The Church of Rome has made it an Article of Faith that no man can be saved out of their Church, and all other religious Sects approach to this dreadfull opinion in...
3917 Tuesday. (Adams Papers)
A clowdy Day. Dined at Mr. Greenes.
4018 Wednesday. (Adams Papers)
A charming morning. My Classmate Gardner drank Tea with me. Spent an Hour in the beginning of the evening at Major Gardiners, where it was thought that the design of Christianity was not to make men good Riddle Solvers or good mystery mongers, but good men, good majestrates and good Subjects, good Husbands and good Wives, good Parents and good Children, good masters and good servants. The...
4119 Thurdsday. (Adams Papers)
No man is intirely free from weakness and imperfection in this life. Men of the most exalted Genius and active minds, are generally perfect slaves to the Love of Fame. They sometimes descend to as mean tricks and artifices, in pursuit of Honour or Reputation, as the Miser descends to, in pursuit of Gold. The greatest men have been the most envious, malicious, and revengeful. The miser toils by...
4220 Fryday. (Adams Papers)
A dull Day. Symptoms of Snow. Writing Tillotson. That is, copying out extracts from the published sermons of John Tillotson (1630–1694) , sometime Archbishop of Canterbury and a celebrated preacher ( DNB Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds., The Dictionary of National Biography, New York and London, 1885–1900; 63 vols. plus supplements. ). There survives among JA ’s papers a literary...
4321 Saturday. (Adams Papers)
A Snowy day. Snow about ancle deep. I find by repeated experiment and observation, in my School, that human nature is more easily wrought upon and governed, by promises and incouragement and praise than by punishment, and threatning and Blame. But we must be cautious and sparing of our praise, lest it become too familiar, and cheap and so contemptible. Corporal as well as disgraceful...
4422 Sunday. (Adams Papers)
Suppos a nation in some distant Region, should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. Every member would be obliged in Concience to temperance and frugality and industry, to justice and kindness and Charity towards his fellow men, and to Piety and Love, and reverence towards almighty God. In this Commonwealth, no...
4523 Monday. (Adams Papers)
Fair weather. Crawford spent the Evening here.
4624 Tuesday. (Adams Papers)
A fine morning. We are told that Demosthenes transcribed the history of Thucidides 8 times, in order to imbibe and familiarize the elegance and strength of his stile. Will it not then be worth while for a candidate for the ministry to transcribe Dr. Tillotson’s Works.
4725 Wednesday. (Adams Papers)
Fair and cold Weather. An extream cold night.
4826 Thurdsday. (Adams Papers)
Fair cold morning. An extream cold Day.
4927 Fryday. (Adams Papers)
A fair, cold day. Drank Tea at Mrs. Paines. All day, in high health, and spirits. Writing Tillotson. That Comet which appeared in 1682, is expected again this year, and we have intelligence, that it has been seen, about 10 days since, near midnight, in the East. —I find my self very much inclin’d to an unreasonable absence of mind, and to a morose, unsociable disposition. Let it therefore be...
5028 Saturday. (Adams Papers)
A raw cold day. Attended Mrs. Brown’s funeral. Let this, and every other Instance of human frailty and mortality, prompt me to endeavour after a temper of mind, fit to undergo this great Change.