Adams Papers

16 Fryday.
[from the Diary of John Adams]

16 Fryday.

A fine morning. A large white frost upon the ground. Reading Hutcheson’s Introduction to moral Phylosophy.1 A beautiful Day and Evening. Din’d with Major Chandler.2

1Francis 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 works by Hutcheson survive among JA’s books in the Boston Public Library; see Catalogue of JA’s Library description begins Catalogue of the John Adams Library in the Public Library of the City of Boston, Boston, 1917. description ends .

2Gardiner Chandler (1723–1782), son of the third John Chandler (1693?–1762) and brother of the fourth John Chandler (1721–1800), with all of whom JA was on friendly terms during his years in Worcester. The leading family in pre-Revolutionary Worcester, the Chandlers tended to multiply and succeed each other in civil and military offices in a manner that often makes it difficult to tell which of them JA refers to in his jottings. “Major Chandler,” “the Major,” and “Gardiner” clearly signify Gardiner Chandler; “Judge Chandler” and “the Judge” always mean the third John Chandler; and “Colonel Chandler Jur.” the Judge’s son John. References to “Colonel Chandler” or “the Colonel” are, however, often ambiguous, especially after 1757, when all three Chandlers held the rank of colonel.

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