Adams Papers

Tuesday Novr. 4th.
[from the Diary of John Adams]

Tuesday Novr. 4th.

A fine Morning. Attended Court all Day, heard the Charge to Grand Jury, and a Prayer by Mr. Barnard. Deacon Pickering was Foreman of one of the Juries. This Man, famous for his Writings in Newspapers concerning Church order and Government, they tell me is very rich.1 His Appearance is perfectly plain, <and coarse,> like a Farmer. His smooth combed Locks flow behind him, like Deacon Cushing, tho not so grey. He has a quick Eye like ——. He has an hypocritical Demure on his Face like Deacon Foster. His mouth makes a Semicircle, when he puts on that devout Face. Deacon Penniman is somewhat like him tho Penniman has more of the grave Solemnity in his Behaviour than the other. The Picture of Govr. Endicott, &c. in the Council Chamber, is of this Sort. They are Puritanical Faces.

At this Court I also saw a young Gentleman lately sworn in the Inferiour Court, whose Name is Samuel Porter, he lived with Mr. Farnham, took his 2d. Degree last Year and lives at Ipswich.2 Thus every County of the Province, Swarms with Pupils and students and young Practicers of Law.

1Timothy Pickering (1703–1778), deacon of the Third, or Tabernacle, Church in Salem, “famous” for his love of controversy and father of another Timothy, who became a prominent officer in the Revolution, secretary of state under Washington and JA, and more famous even than his father as a controversialist. See Harrison Ellery and Charles P. Bowditch, The Pickering Genealogy . . . , Cambridge, 1897, 1:81–85; James Duncan Phillips, Salem in the Eighteenth Century, Boston and N.Y., 1937, p. 266–268 and passim.

2Samuel Porter, Harvard 1763, of Salem; admitted attorney in the Superior Court, 1768; barrister, 1772; loyalist (Superior Court of Judicature, Minute Books 85, 97; Jones, Loyalists of Mass. description begins E. Alfred Jones, The Loyalists of Massachusetts: Their Memorials, Petitions and Claims, London, 1930. description ends , p. 237–238).

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