Adams Papers

1779 November Friday 12th.

1779 November Friday 12th.

This Morning at about 11 o clock I took leave of my Mamma, my Sister, and Brother Tommy,1 and went to Boston with Mr. Thaxter,2 in order to go on board the Frigate the Sensible of 28 twelve Pounders. We arrived at Boston at about 1 o clock; dined at my uncle Smiths’,3 we expected to go on board in the afternoon but We could not conveniently—till to morrow.

1It was not until 30 July 1784 that JQA next saw AA and AA2, when he met them in London en route to France, where his father, JA, was serving as a commissioner to negotiate treaties of amity and commerce with various European and African nations. JQA did not see TBA again until his return to America in 1785 (JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 3:167–169).

2John Thaxter Jr. (1755–1791), a second cousin to JQA through the marriage of AA’s aunt Anna Quincy. After graduation from college he had studied law in JA’s office, served as tutor to the Adams boys, and now accompanied JA to Europe as his private secretary. Thaxter returned to America in 1783 after the signing of the Definitive Treaty with Great Britain and settled in Haverhill, Mass., where he practiced law (same, 2:402). JQA renewed his friendship with Thaxter there in late 1785, when he came to live with his uncle and aunt, Rev. John and Elizabeth (Smith) Shaw, while preparing himself for admission to Harvard in the spring of 1786.

3JQA did not carefully distinguish between his uncles and great-uncles, aunts and great-aunts, but the person referred to here is his great-uncle Isaac Smith Sr. (1719–1787), a Boston merchant and uncle of AA. A sketch and portrait of Smith appear in Adams Family Correspondence description begins Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1963- . description ends , 2:x–xi and facing 103.

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