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Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848) to James Bridge

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00958.06 Author/Creator: Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848) Place Written: Newburyport, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter Date: 20 June 1790 Pagination: 2 p. ; 23 x 19 cm.

Summary of Content: The first two pages of a longer letter, lacking signature. Writing a month after Bridge left Newburyport, Adams expresses sadness over their separation. Adams writes about a trip to Exeter, and a variety of social news. The letter ends as Adams begins to describe his work in court in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

Background Information: Notes: Originally after #958.05 in scrapbook.

Full Transcript: Newbury Port June 20th 1790.
My eyes have continued to be very much afflicted, ever since you left us, and it is not without pain that I now write; I could ...not however, reconcile myself to the idea of Mr. Bradbury's going to Pownalborgough, without giving him a line for you; and if that line should happen to fill the four sides of my paper your feelings will make up all deficiencies in point of importance, and being well used to the prolixity of my communications, you will make every necessary allowance for their tediousness.
As my Letter is to consist chiefly in narration, the chronological order seems to be the most natural, and I shall therefore pursue it with such deviations as the treacherous nature of my memory, and my present confused state of mind may render necessary.
Precisely one month from this day, you bid a final adieu to the town of Newbury Port. It was quite a dull day to me. The circumstance which established a final separation from bed and board, with a friend whom I had so many reasons to value at a rate of exalted estimation, was of itself sufficient to shed a gloom upon a mind ready enough to receive somber impressions, but your departure had the additional effect of bringing more immediately to view the proximity of my own. To sacrifice a course of life, and habits of employment which a practice of three years has rendered peculiarly agreeable; to part forever from a circle of friends and acquaintances, male and female, who have attached us to them, and to go immediately to a place where I have few friends, where other manners prevail, and where every thing will be either indifferent or something worse; these ideas obtruded themselves very forcibly at that time, and the Evening, (which I past [sic] in a very agreeable manner at Col: Higglesworth's) [2] compleated the disagreeable anticipation by presenting to me in a high degree the advantages which I was so soon to forego.
Our time was from that time employed as usual, till the beginning of this month, when I went with Putnam to Exeter, where we had a tolerable ordination frolic. We had a ball in the Evening. I was acquainted but with a very small part of the Company, but two of our Newbury Port belles[,] Miss Newhall and Miss Cutler, rendered it unnecessary to regret my want of acquaintance with the other Ladies present. I contrived to dance almost all the time with the former of these Ladies, and made out to pass the time well enough.
On Thursday the 3d: inst: we lost another member of the Club. Littlethen took his departure intending to go on to Fredericksburg in the stage; but upon his arrival in Boston he was induced to make an alteration in his arrangements and he went as far as Baltimore by water. I have not heard from him since he sailed, but presume he has reached before this, the place of his destination.
The same week, we had a couple of parties at the grove; the walk which I believe was in contemplation before you went away, and a sail which was very agreeable. Miss Katy Amory a sister of Bil: was here at that time, and was highly delighted with this grove. It is really an enchanting spot: I do not recollect whether you ever saw it. This Miss Amory was about three weeks in town. She left us about ten days ago and her sister Becca came in her stead; who still remains here. We have been very sociable at Amory's and have frequently seen both the young Ladies. They are not handsome, though the youngest has been so reputed; but they are both very agreeable, and to all appearance very amiable. I know not when I have been more pleased with two Ladies upon so short an acquaintance.
The last week I attended the Court at Ipswich, and there were several cases which supplied a good proportion of professional information. Freeman attended the Court one day; and tells me he expects to enter several actions at the Common Pleas . . .
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People: Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848
Bridge, James, 1765-1834

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: PresidentTravelLawJudiciary

Sub Era: The Early Republic

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