Boston. August 10. Wednesday.1
The committee for the Congress took their departure from Boston, from Mr. Cushing’s house, and rode to Coolidge’s, where they dined in company with a large number of gentlemen, who went out and prepared an entertainment for them at that place. A most kindly and affectionate meeting we had, and about four in the afternoon we took our leave of them, amidst the kind wishes and fervent prayers of every man in the company for our health and success. This scene was truly affecting, beyond all description affecting. I lodged at Colonel Buck’s.2
1. This entry and the one immediately following (first entry under 15 Aug.) are transcribed from JA, Works description begins The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, ed. Charles Francis Adams, Boston, 1850–1856; 10 vols. description ends , 2:340–341, no MS source for them having been found.
JA’s correspondence and Autobiography supply the information that from Ipswich he had gone “for the tenth and last time on the Eastern Circuit” in Maine, where, on a hill above Casco Bay, took place the affecting separation between him and Jonathan Sewall—“the sharpest thorn on which I ever sat my foot” (JA, Preface to Novanglus and Massachusettensis, Boston, 1819, p. vi). By mid-July JA was back in Braintree with his family, but he was soon caught up in work for the distressed town of Boston, being appointed on 26 July to a committee to receive donations for the relief of the inhabitants (which proved a burdensome assignment) and to another committee appointed to consider “proper Measures to be adopted for the common Safety” (Boston Record Commissioners, 18th Report description begins City of Boston, Record Commissioners, Reports, Boston, 1876–1909; 39 vols. description ends , p. 185).
2. Robert Treat Paine’s entry in his Diary (MHi) for this day adds a few details:
“At 11 o’clock the honble. Thos. Cushing Esq. and the other Commission[ers] of Congress for this Province sat out in a Coach and four and four Servants, the honble. James Bowdoin not being able to go on Account of the Indisposition of his Family; We dind at Coolidge at Watertown in Company with between 50 and 60 Gentlemen from Boston who rode out to take their leave of us and give us their best Wishes for our Success on the Embassy. Thence we rode to Col. Buckminster at Framingham and lodged, a very hot day.”
JA omits the next three days in his Diary, but Paine recorded that the party set out at 5 in the morning of the 11th, breakfasted at Westborough, and proceeded through Worcester, dining “in good season,” and then on to Spencer, where they lodged. On the 12th they again started at 5, breakfasted at Brookfield, dined at Palmer, and lodged at Springfield. They did not leave Springfield until 10 the next morning, dined at Suffield, and lodged at Hartford, the weather remaining “hot and very dry and dusty.” The 14th being a Sunday, they went to meeting and rested.