The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations - Vol. 2

The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations - Vol. 2

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The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations - Vol. 2

The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

A diary is the record in youth of a man's sentiments, in middle life, of his action, and of his recollections in age. To others, it can be interesting only if it have impressed upon it the stamp of strong individual character. But with this as a substratum, notices of striking scenes, of extraordinary events and noted contemporaries, may be superadded to form a memorial worth transmitting to posterity.

The fragments now published can scarcely be said to fill up this idea; yet, beginning as they do with the writer's entrance into responsible life, and extending through a large part of a great career, they may be considered as in a measure superseding the necessity of an elaborate biography. Perhaps the propriety of the insertion of so large a portion of the early entries may be questioned. The answer is, that they go far to effect the main object of showing character. The moral and meditative cast of the author's mind is thus laid open at an age when that of most men is yet slowly gaining maturity. The leading principle of his life may thus be easily traced by those fond of psychological investigations, from his first theological investigations, through his legal studies, and still more strikingly, his early practice, into the mental habits which formed the politician and the statesman. Incidental to this, and accessary to it, are the pictures of domestic life in New England during a period which has been somewhat overshadowed by the superior interest attaching to earlier and to later times. Puritan Massachusetts, whilst dropping much of her early religious bigotry . . .

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