In 1875, Henry Adams, the grandson of President John Quincy Adams, commented, “The Quincys are, strictly speaking, an old family. They belonged to the colonial aristocracy.”1
There were a great number of heroes of the American Revolution, many who bravely fought and died for the cause of independence. Yet there were few great Americans who sacrificed their lives as they battled their oppressors, using only thoughts and words as their weapons. Josiah Quincy “Junior” was among those special few. A frail and chronically-ill boy, Josiah Jr. endeavored to become an accomplished young man both through his intelligence and moral obligation to his family’s name. That he was brilliant there is no doubt. That such intellect was influenced at an early age is obvious. The legacy of his forebears, who were particularly prominent in local politics, was passed down to him. Even though such ancestor worship was shrugged off by older brothers Edmund and Samuel, Josiah Quincy Jr. aspired to transcend his patrimony.
Since 1633, the Quincy family of Massachusetts had experienced a steady accumulation of wealth, influence and respectability. Even in the highly unstable society of colonial Massachusetts, where fortunes and reputations could be lost on the turning of the tide, the Quincy family had achieved prominence while capitalizing on the economic benefits that often came with such distinction. Many early family members also effectively held public office as religious conservatives, monetary moderates and, more importantly, men with keen legal minds.
Thus, to the manor born was Josiah Quincy Jr., in a large house located on Summer Street in Boston where his father’s gardens stretched back to meet those of brother Edmund. Justice Edmund and Colonel Josiah Quincy were partners with brother-in-law Edward Jackson in a thriving Boston mercantile firm that owned, among other assets, a privateer christened Bethel. While Josiah Sr. sailed abroad seeking trade, Edmund remained home tending to the business, his bench, and both his and his brother’s families. It was here, in Boston, that Josiah Quincy Jr. first learned of his family’s distinguished heritage from both his father, the world traveler, and from Edmund who, as a justice, was already caught up in the rising tempest that ultimately led to the American Revolution.
As a boy, Josiah Jr. was made aware of his father’s ascension to the rank of colonel and commander of the Third Suffolk militia regiment. Colonel Quincy became a staunch member of the Sons of Liberty and, like older brother Edmund, joined St. Andrew’s Masonic Lodge. Once political factions had formed in Massachusetts, there was never any doubt where Colonel Quincy stood, frequently corresponding with Boston Latin School classmate Benjamin Franklin to denounce the oppressive measures imposed by Britain.
As Parliament continued to initiate new forms of taxation upon the colonies, all but one of the Quincy men began to question their place in the empire. It did not matter that cousin Abigail Adams had traced the emigration of the DeQuincey family from Normandy, France, to England in 1066 and claimed that the family pedigree, distinguished by a crest of seven mascles conjoined,2 was affixed to the Magna Carta. By the mid-eighteenth century, patriot Quincy elders were more concerned about the history unfolding upon American soil rather than relics of the past attributed to fair England.
Still, for many locals it was obvious that the Quincys had been set apart from other Massachusetts settlers when emigrant Edmund Quincy disembarked in Boston on September 4, 1633, with his wife, children and six servants.3 Because of his social standing in England, Edmund Quincy was elected to the General Court as one of its first representatives and awarded a substantial land grant south of Boston at Braintree.
Second and third generation Quincys expanded the Braintree land holdings and attained their own local recognition. The second Edmund was elevated to the rank of colonel in the Suffolk militia, appointed a justice and, like his father, elected representative to the General Court. The third Edmund, the first of many Quincys to attend Harvard College, served as a judge on the Superior Court of Judicature for twenty years. Judge Quincy was so highly regarded by leaders of the Bay Colony that he was elected commissioner by the General Assembly and sent to England to settle a boundary line dispute between Massachusetts and New Hampshire. After an unexpected financial windfall in 1749 for the fourth-generation descendants, Justice Edmund and Colonel Josiah returned to the town of their ancestors in Braintree where Josiah Jr.’s father was bequeathed a portion of the Braintree lands, the four hundred acre “Lower Farm,” near Mount Wollaston.
At that time the homes of Colonel Josiah and Justice Edmund were within sight of each other. As a young man, neighboring new-found friend John Adams was a frequent a visitor to their homes where he sought to quench his thirst for political knowledge. Alternatively, John Adams’s father, Deacon Adams, entertained Edmund and Josiah Quincy in the parlor of his nearby home where Josiah Jr. sat at their knees and listened to the cases against oppression facing this older generation.
It was at Braintree that Josiah Quincy Jr. was also introduced to his father’s cousin John Quincy (the maternal grandfather of Abigail Smith, who later married John Adams) for whom “Quincy” Massachusetts was named. Here, both young Josiah Jr. and John Adams visited “grandfather” Quincy’s rambling house at his nearby Mount Wollaston farm. Colonel and commander of the Suffolk militia regiment, justice, Braintree town moderator, representative to the General Court and speaker of the House, member of “His Majesty’s Council,” trustee of the Punkapoag Indians, and overseer at Harvard College, John Quincy enjoyed a public career that became legendary in family circles.
During his long lifetime, Braintree citizens steadily kept John Quincy in offices of great responsibility where he voiced the people’s frustrations and aspirations. When the early antagonism between the colonists and the royal governors first began, it was Speaker Quincy who threatened the governor with rejections of the measures aimed at exacting submission from the colonists. Having clashed with the king’s representatives for years, all that would be denounced by the next generation in rebellion against the crown had already been argued in the General Court by Speaker Quincy.
Note: Roman number are imposed in order to distinguish persons bearing the same name in different generations of the family. The persons so designated did not themselves, nor did the family generally, use this enumerative device. Some of these numbers appear out of sequence; the missing names are not applicable to this chart at this time.
1. Salisbury, Edward Elbridge, Family Memorials – Quincy (A Series of Genealogical and Biographical Monographs), Privately Printed, 1885. Other Quincy family genealogy sources: Massachusetts Historical Society, Quincy Historical Society, and personal papers of the Quincy family. (Note: This is a selective family chart that does not indicate all of the marriages nor all of the descendants during this time period.)
By the time Josiah Quincy Jr. was prepared for Harvard, his mind was set to follow Quincy family leaders, with an unmatched passion for mastering the law. Despite his frustration at being continually ill, he won the freshman detur, excelled at scholarship and, at commencement, was a respondent. Upon receiving his master of arts, Josiah Jr. delivered the English oration on the subject of “Liberty,” or, as others remembered his impassioned address, that of “Patriotism.”4 It was a speech that enraptured the audience and was recalled a half century later, earning him the sobriquet, “the Patriot.”
Josiah Quincy Jr. married Abigail Phillips of the prestigious Phillips family and had three children, two of whom died young. After being admitted to the bar, he sought the position of barrister but the Superior Court denied him such status because of his early radical political views. Josiah Jr. quickly shook off the appellation as insignificant anyway and, instead, threw himself into what became the Revolutionary cause. His political writings, which first appeared in the Boston Gazette in October 1767, were filled with patriotic fervor. A brilliant attorney, Josiah Jr. openly associated with many colonial dissenters and, it is said, was the first private lawyer in Boston to boldly hang his own signboard over his office door. Josiah Jr. was twenty-six years old when he was personally engaged by Captain Thomas Preston to defend the British soldiers charged with murder in the Boston Massacre.
Josiah Quincy Jr. felt no need of stepping to the drum of other Massachusetts patriots. When they became divided under the impact of the Port Bill, he rose at town meeting and announced that if the colonies were to be saved, it would not be by the Sons of Liberty alone. Of the proposal by the Boston Whigs to send him to England, Josiah Jr. realized that this possibility would be his last chance of gaining full recognition as a patriotic leader and that his unrestrained devotion to the cause would not otherwise deny him the opportunity.
In England, there was considerable indignation among many political circles that Josiah Quincy Jr. was “a very unfit person” to be considered an emissary, or even “Peace Maker.” After three months and frequent sessions with Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Josiah Jr. became convinced that American rights could only be won with blood. By early December 1774 he had raised his peace terms, demanding that Parliament repeal every questionable law and recall its troops from all American colonies. Feeling defeated, Josiah Jr. was of two minds about sailing home. His health was failing and he was disillusioned by the failure of supposed friends in Parliament to deliver their promised support.
He departed England in March 1775 and during the month-long crossing his health was worsened by the wetness and cold of the Atlantic. Praying vainly that he could remain alive long enough to see his wife and father one last time, he did not know that his brother Samuel was sailing in the opposite direction, bound for mother England and following other Loyalists into exile. When the Boston packet made Gloucester Harbor on April 25, 1775, it was clear that Josiah Jr. would not be carried ashore breathing. He had finally made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom’s cause, while physicians stood helplessly by in his cabin.
On his tombstone were inscribed the following words written by John Quincy Adams:
Brilliant talents, uncommon eloquence, & indefatigable application
Raised him to the highest eminence in his profession,
His early enlightened, inflexible attachment to
The cause of his country,
Is attested by monuments more durable than this,
And transmitted to posterity
By well-known productions of his Genius.
In essence, Josiah Jr. was convinced that the economic and political oppression that Britain imposed upon the colonies was Parliament’s effort to eventually enslave its American subjects. Couple this controversial political conviction to his prolific legal interpretations and that he was impetuous, impassioned and vehement concerning American liberty, and you have a true historical phenomenon.
For Josiah Quincy Jr., thoughts of American independence began at a very early age when his father and uncle bitterly complained of the increasing costs of doing business solely with Britain and sought trade for their mercantile business with other European nations. Such open defiance would later influence Josiah Jr.’s views on the meaning of liberty.
Josiah Jr. married into one of Boston’s wealthiest families and lived quite comfortably. Many books from his personal library were imported by his father’s shipping company, which allowed him to peruse and explicate volumes. Not one to spend his idle time mingling with Samuel Adams, John Adams, James Otis and other Sons of Liberty at Thomas Dawes’s hall near the Liberty Tree, he preferred the isolation of reading and interpreting the written works of others, as was his custom.
Thus, by wealth and intellect Josiah Jr. became a man apart who refused removal from the cause. Too frail and poor-sighted to do battle alongside fellow patriots, he convinced himself that he could alter the path to war diplomatically. Had he heeded the advice of friend Dr. Joseph Warren and entreaties from his wife and family to journey south for his health instead of sailing for England in the fall of 1774, his involvement with the American cause may have ended under more favorable circumstances.
John Quincy Jr.
1. Henry Adams, “Review of Speeches of Josiah Quincy,” North American Review (January, 1875):235–236. See Robert A. McCaughey, The Last Federalist (Cambridge, Mass., 1974), p. 1.
2. Edward Elbridge Salisbury, Family Memorials-Quincy (A Series of Genealogical and Biographical Monographs), (Privately Printed, 1885), Pedigree of Quincy, Original Motto: Sine macula macia (A Shield Without a Stain).
3. It should be noted that Edmund Quincy came from a family of eleven children. To this day, he remains the only member of his family’s line to emigrate to America from England. The descendants of his brothers and sisters were numerous and some have been noteworthy in English history. Many other families around the United States and Canada who bear the Quincy family name either had no relation to Edmund Quincy’s immediate family or, at some point, they simply adopted the name.
4. At Harvard’s 50th reunion of the Class of 1763, Josiah Quincy Jr. was fondly remembered as “The Patriot” in reference to his class oration regarding “Liberty” and his foresight of those who fought bravely for independence in the American Revolution.
1. See sources cited in Daniel R. Coquillette, “Justinian in Braintree: John Adams, Civilian Learning, and Legal Elitism,” Law in Colonial Massachuesetts (eds. Coquillette, Brink, Menand), (Boston, 1984), 359.
2. See Edmund S. Morgan, Benjamin Franklin, supra, pp. 47–104. See also, Walter Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, supra, pp. 52–145. Gordon S. Wood, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin, supra, pp. 1–16.
3. During more than twenty years Harold C. Syrett and Julius Goebel, Jr. at Columbia produced 22,000 pages of the Hamilton Papers (33 volumes). See the acknowledged debt of Ron Chernow, who actually added 50 more Hamilton essays. Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton (New York, 2004), 5–6.
4. See “Introduction,” Voyage to the South, vol. 2, infra.
5. Of course, these masssive projects supplement much earlier efforts. See, for example, Leonard W. Labaree, ed., Royal Instructions to British Colonial Governors, 1670–1776 (2 vols., New York, 1935). See also Bernard Bailyn’s classic The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson (Cambridge, Mass., 1974).
6. For example, the Colonial Society has just completed a new effort to re-examine the experience of Native Americans, using improved scholarly techniques, an excellent conference and a perspective that includes Native American scholars. See Colin C. Calloway, Neal Salisbury eds., Reinterpreting New England Indians and the Colonial Experience (Boston, 2003), particularly the “Foreword” by John W. Tyler, pp. 9–23.
7. Infra, pp. 47–92.
8. See Francis Bacon, Maximes of the Common Laws of England (London, 1631). See also Daniel R. Coquillette, Francis Bacon (Stanford, 1992), pp. 35–48.
9. Quincy’s Reports, p. 201. (Hereinafter Reports. A new edition of the Reports will appear as volumes 3 and 4 of this series. The pagination here and elsewhere in volume 1 refers to the 1865 edition, Samuel M. Quincy, ed.)
10. See Edmund S. Morgan, Benjamin Franklin, supra, pp. 200–219. Franklin represented Massachusetts, Georgia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
11. See London Journal, infra, pp. 233–235. Lord Dartmouth put one of Quincy’s pamphlets on his table and observed to Quincy, “I think you know the author of it … Don’t you?” Ibid., 235.
12. See Robert Stevens, Law School: Legal Education in America from the 1850s to the 1980s (Chapel Hill, 1983), pp. 3–34.
13. Legal Papers of John Adams, ed. L. K. Wroth, H. B. Zobel (Cambridge, Mass., 1965), vol. 1, pp. 4–80.
14. See Robert Stevens, Law School, supra, pp. 3–19; John H. Langbein, “Blackstone, Littchfield, and Yale: The Founding of the Yale Law School,” in History of the Yale Law School (A. T. Kronman, ed., 2004), pp. 1–52.
15. See Morris L. Cohen, “Legal Literature in Colonial Massachusetts,” in Law in Colonial Massachusetts 1630–1800 (Coquillette, Brink, Menard, eds.), (Boston, 1984), pp. 243–272. See also Daniel R. Coquillette, “Radical Lawmakers in Colonial Massachusetts,” 67 New Eng. Q. 179, 194–201 (1994).
16. See “Introduction,” Reports, vol. 3, infra.
17. Reports, supra, pp. 173–174.
18. See Daniel R. Coquillette, “First Flower–The Earliest American Law Reports and the Extraordinary Josiah Quincy, Jr. (1744–1775),” 30 Suffolk Univ. L. Rev. 1 (1996), 11–15.
19. See Reports, Appendix 9, Stamps v. Stanwood, 339 Mass. 549, 553 (1959) (validity of bigamous second marriage).
1. See the excellent account in Carrie Rebora Barratt and Ellen G. Miles, Gilbert Stuart (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2004), pp. 287–330, the scholarly catalogue for a major exhibit of Stuart’s paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 21 October 2004–16 January 2005. (Hereafter, “Barratt, Miles, Gilbert Stuart.”) See also Lawrence Park’s classic Gilbert Stuart: An Illustrated Descriptive List of his Works (New York: W. E. Rudge, 1926), pp. 627–631. (Hereafter, “Park.”)
2. Ibid., pp. 326–327, figures 180, 181 respectively (Park, Nos. 658 and 687, respectively).
3. Ibid., p. 326, color illustration 91 (Park, No. 686).
4. Ibid., p. 325, and Neil L. York’s biographical introduction to this volume.
5. Stuart’s decision to paint a portrait of Josiah Quincy Jr. was certainly linked to his comission to paint his son “the President” in 1824 and to pressure from Eliza Susan Quincy. It was highly unusual for Stuart to paint a portrait without a sitter. According to Charles Merrill Mount, Stuart originally refused to do a posthumous portrait, despite the urging of the Quincys. The real motive, Mount suggests, was “pressure of mounting debt.” See Charles Merrill Mount, Gilbert Stuart: A Biography (New York: W. W. Norton, 1964), p. 326. “[H]e was forced to solicit work by whatever means he could, and in October  he traveled to Quincy, to see a portrait of Copley that might assist a posthumous image of Josiah Quincy, Jr., who had perished at sea in 1775. The picture was one previously refused.” Ibid., p. 327. A more charitable theory is that advanced by Eliza Quincy, that Stuart became fascinated by Quincy after reading the Memoir of the Life of Josiah Quincy, Jr. (Boston: Cummings, Hilliard, & Company, 1825), ostensibly written by Quincy’s son, but really by his granddaughter, Eliza. See Neil L. York, biographical introduction, supra. In addition, Stuart, in his old age, became interested in painting historical figures for posterity. See Barratt, Miles, Gilbert Stuart, supra, p. 328 in connection with Stuart’s painting of Lydia Pickering Williams, age eighty-nine, in 1824. In addition, once Stuart had seen the John Singleton Copley’s portraits of Quincy’s father, Josiah, and his brother, Samuel, plus the engraving, he had a good deal to go on, particularly since he had done two portraits of Quincy’s son! The Copley portraits are reproduced in Jules David Prown, John Singleton Copley: In America, 1738–1754 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966), illustration 197 (Samuel Quincy, c. 1767) and 198 (Josiah Quincy, c. 1767), p. 56. See also L. H. Butterfield, A Pride of Quincys: A Massachusetts Historical Society Picture Book (Boston, 1969), which also includes watercolors and sketches by Eliza Susan Quincy and a Smibert portrait of Edmund Quincy III (1681–1738).
6. Mason, p. 246.
7. Mason, p. 246. See also Park, p. 628, who states, “the result was considered a good likeness.”
8. Ibid., pp. 246–247.
9. Mount, p. 328.
10. Ibid., p. 328.
11. I am particularly grateful to the excellent work of my research assistant, Kevin Cox, Harvard Law School, Class of 2006, whose tireless research into the Quincy portrait made this note possible.
1. Richard Frothingham Jr., History of the Siege of Boston, and of the Battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1849), appendix, “History of the Bunker Hill Monument,” p. 344.
2. Ezekiel Webster, ed., The Works of Daniel Webster, 6 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1851), 1:68. Webster quoted from The Boston-Gazette and Country Journal, 5 October 1767 (hereafter Boston Gazette).
3. Edmund Quincy, Life of Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867), p. 412. Quincy commented that his older sister, Eliza Susan, had been picked by the family to do this biography, but “As she declined, after mature consideration and some preparation, to fulfil our hopes and expectations in this particular, I consented to undertake the Life which I now offer to the public.” Over forty years earlier, when compiling the Memoir of her grandfather, Josiah Junior, Eliza Susan had similarly chosen to remain in the background; still, she offered her brother “watchful supervision and judicious criticism” as he wrote their father’s Life. (p. iv)
4. The Essex Gazette, 2 May 1775.
5. Webster, ed., Works, 1:68. Webster did not stand alone in his sentiments. See the flattering review of Quincy’s Memoir by John Davis in the North American Review 22 (January 1826):176–208.
6. Quincy, Wendell, Holmes, and Upham Family Papers (hereafter Quincy Papers), Massachusetts Historical Society (hereafter MHS) microfilm, reel 30, letter from Lovell to Oliver Wendell of 5 May 1775.
7. Adams to Josiah Quincy Sr., 29 July 1775, in Charles Francis Adams, ed., The Works of John Adams, 10 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1850–1856), 9:361.
8. Adams to William Wirt, 5 January 1818; to Hezekiah Niles, 13 February 1818; and to William Tudor, 9 February 1819, in ibid., 10:271, 287, 364, resp. Also see Mercy Otis Warren’s brief eulogy in the History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution, 3 vols. (Boston: Manning and Loring, 1805), 3:304n.
9. Josiah Quincy, Memoir of the Life of Josiah Quincy, Junior, of Massachusetts: 1744–1775, 2nd ed. (Boston: Press of John Wilson and Son, 1874), p. 226n, the recollections of Massachusetts Governor William Eustis. Little, Brown and Company of Boston published a third edition virtually identical to the second edition the next year. Eliza Susan Quincy edited these reissues of the original Memoir of the Life of Josiah Quincy Jun. of Massachusetts (Boston: Cummings, Hilliard, & Company, 1825). She made some changes in the text, added a table of contents, chapter divisions, more footnotes, and index.
10. Eliza Susan Quincy, “Memoir,” vol. 1, p. 5, in Quincy Papers no. 45 (and reel 6) MHS.
11. E. S. Quincy, “Memoir,” vol. 11 in ibid. no. 46 (reel 6) MHS.
12. Letter of Eliza Susan Quincy, 4 February 1879, quoted from Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe, “Journal of Josiah Quincy, Jr., 1773” Massachusetts Historical Society. Proceedings 49 (June 1916):426. Tributes to Eliza Susan were offered by her nephew, Josiah Phillips Quincy, in ibid., 2nd series 1 (1884):33–39; and by her sister, Anna Cabot Lowell Quincy Waterston, in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register 38 (1884):145–146.
13. See George H. Nash III, “From Radicalism to Revolution: The Political Career of Josiah Quincy, Jr.” American Antiquarian Society. Proceedings 79 (1969):253–290; the chapter on Quincy as a “Conscience Whig” in Peter Shaw, American Patriots and the Rituals of Revolution (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981), pp. 153–174; the material on Quincy in Philip McFarland, The Brave Bostonians (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1998); the essay in Clifford Shipton, Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, vol. 15 (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1970), pp. 479–491; and the brief sketch by James Truslow Adams in Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds. Dictionary of American Biography, 10 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1927–1936), 8:307–308.
14. These include “Hyperion,” 28 September and 5 October 1767, 26 September and 3 October 1768, 25 November 1771, and 4 May 1772; “Pro Lege,” 4 January 1768; “Pro Aris Et Focis,” 11 September 1769; “An Independant,” 12 February, 26 February and 12 March 1770; “An Old Man,” 6 August 1770; “Intelligentibus” and “Tertius in Nubibus,” 20 May 1771; “Callisthenes,” 10 February and 28 September 1772; “Edward Sexby,” 12 October 1772; and “Marchmont Nedham,” 8 June, 15 June, 22 June, 29 June, 6 July 1772, and 20 December, 27 December 1773, and 3 January, 10 January, 17 January, 31 January, 7 February 1774. He also wrote for The Boston Evening-Post, 11 February 1771 as “Mentor.” Most of these are noted in Quincy, Memoir, pp. 9, 22, 51–52, and 122. Eliza Susan Quincy gave a more exhaustive listing in her “Memoir,” vol. 11, pp. 5, 12, 16, 18, and 33, in the Quincy Papers no. 46 (reel 6) MHS. I suspect that Quincy also wrote the “Centinel,” a series of forty essays for The Massachusetts Spy, from 2 May 1771 through 26 March 1772. Rather than muddy the water here I have made my case in “Tag Team Polemics: The ‘Centinel’ and His Allies in the Massachusetts Spy,” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 107 (1995):85–114. Julie Marie Flavell, “Americans of Patriot Sympathies in London and the Colonial Strategy for Opposition, 1774–1775” (Ph.D. thesis, University of London, 1988), pp. 55–60, attributes a piece that appeared in the Boston Evening-Post, 5 September 1774, altered slightly for the London-based Public Ledger, 19 November 1774, to Quincy. The more traditional view is that Franklin wrote it; the evidence for either as author is inconclusive.
15. Josiah Quincy Jun’r, Observations on the Act of Parliament commonly called the Boston Port-Bill; with Thoughts on Civil Society and Standing Armies (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1774).
16. By a Native, and Member of the House of Burgesses [Thomas Jefferson], A Summary View of the Rights of British America (Williamsburg, Va.: Clementina Rind, 1774); [James Wilson], Considerations on the Nature and the Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament (Philadelphia: William and Thomas Bradford, 1774).
1. Letter to Abigail Quincy, 16 December 1774, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS; published in Quincy, Memoir, p. 230. All references to the Memoir will be from the 1874 printing, edited by Eliza Susan Quincy.
2. From Eliza Susan Quincy’s manuscript “Memoir,” vol. 1, Chapter 1, p. 4 for Saer de Quincy, and the Table of Contents for Roger de Quincy in Quincy Papers no. 45 (reel 6) MHS. Eliza Susan could have been caught up in genealogical enthusiasm; there is no clear family connection between the Quincys of Massachusetts and the Quincy nobility of thirteenth-century England. “The energies of this redoubtable woman were poured out in large part in recording the exploits of her family back into times so remote,” Helen Howe, Eliza Susan’s great-grand-niece, commented wryly, “that one wonders where serious historical research left off and a highflying imagination took wings.” From Howe’s The Gentle Americans (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), p. 281.
3. Quincy, Memoir, p. 5.
4. The Boston Gazette, 21 July 1766, listed Quincy among the masters of arts candidates and noted the “truly animated” oration on patriotism, but without identifying who delivered it.
5. Quincy, Memoir, p. 6n. Eliza Susan Quincy did this and all of the other editorial notes.
6. Ibid., p. 6.
7. Ibid., p. 21. Eliza Susan commented on her grandfather’s library and the 1785 fire in ibid., p. 104n. “A Catalogue of Books Belonging to the Estate of Josiah Quincy jun. Deceas’d” is in the Quincy Papers no. 53 (reel 4) MHS. A few of Josiah Junior’s books did survive and have been handed down through the family.
8. The Reports are in the Quincy Papers nos. 54–55, 57–58 (reel 4) MHS, and were eventually printed under the editorship of Josiah Junior’s great-grandson (Eliza Susan’s nephew) Samuel M. Quincy, Reports of Cases argued and adjudged in the Supreme Court of Judicature of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, between 1761 and 1772 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1865). Dan Coquillette’s new edition of the law reports, now being prepared, may set a new standard for meticulous care and thorough detail. The Law Commonplace book is in the Quincy Papers no. 56 (reel 4) and the Legis Miscellenea can be found in ibid. no. 58; transcriptions of both are being done under Dan Coquillette’s supervision. The commonplace book of 1770–1774 is in ibid. no. 59. Also see the guide and index edited by Marc Friedlaender and Robert V. Sparks, Papers relating to the Quincy, Wendell, Holmes, and Upham Families at the Massachusetts Historical Society together with the Quincy, Wendell, Holmes and Upham Family Papers in the Collection of Hugh Upham Clark, of Arlington, Virginia (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1977).
9. From the Reports in the Quincy Papers no. 58, vol. III, reports 1765–1769 (reel 4) MHS; printed in Quincy, Reports, p. 317. Also see Quincy, Memoir, p. 27.
10. Adams, ed., Works, 10:195, letter to Jedediah Morse of 22 December 1815.
11. For Quincy’s reaction to Hutchinson in August 1765 see the Quincy Papers no. 57, law reports, vol. II, 1764–1767 (reel 4) MHS; printed in Reports, pp. 168–174. For the reference to George Jeffreys see the commonplace book of 1770–1774 in the Quincy Papers no. 59, p. 223 (and pp. 173–174 infra). Quincy probably made this entry in 1774, after the Boston Tea Party.
12. L. H. Butterfield, et al., eds., Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 4 vols. (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1961), 1:229.
13. Boston Gazette, 5 October 1767.
14. Quincy, Memoir, p. 21.
15. Report of the Record Commissioners, Boston Town Records, 1770 Through 1777 (Boston: Rockwell & Churchill, 1887), p. 32.
16. Letter of 22–23 May 1770 in the Thomas Hutchinson Letterbook, Massachusetts Archives, vol. XXVI, p. 491; MHS transcript, p. 1070.
17. An observation made by Captain Walter Sloane Laurie, found in Sigmund Diamond, “Bunker Hill, Tory Propaganda, and Adam Smith,” New England Quarterly 25 (1952):371. Also see the satire of Quincy and his Patriot colleagues by Thomas Bolton, An Oration Delivered March Fifteenth, 1775 at the Request of a Number of Inhabitants of the Town of Boston (1775). A piece addressed “To the Officers and Soldiers of His Majesty’s Troops in Boston” by “A Friend to Great Britain and America,” run in the Boston Evening-Post, 19 September 1774, listed fifteen men as the “authors” of the misfortune that would probably lead to rebellion. Samuel Adams headed the list; Quincy ranked fourth, just after Dr. Thomas Young.
18. “Mentor,” Boston Evening-Post, 11 February 1771. Harbottle Dorr attributed “Mentor” to Quincy; he also identified Quincy as author of the “Edward Sexby” piece in the Boston Gazette, 12 October 1772 and all of the “Marchmont Nedham” essays in that same paper between 1772–1774. Even though himself a member of the Sons of Liberty and associate of leading Patriots, he was not necessarily always right in his attributions. He listed Dr. Thomas Young as author of the “Hyperion” essay for 25 November 1771 in the Boston Gazette but Eliza Susan Quincy was certain that her grandfather did all of the “Hyperion” pieces. See “The Harbottle Dorr Collection of Annotated Massachusetts Newspapers, 1765–1776,” 4 reels microfilm (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1966); and Bernard Bailyn, “The Index and Commentaries of Harbottle Dorr,” Masssachusetts Historical Society. Proceedings 85 (1973):21–35.
20. Preston to the Earl of Chatham, 17 March 1770, Chatham Papers, Public Record Office (Kew), 30/8/97, part I.
21. L. Kinvin Wroth and Hiller Zobel, eds., Legal Papers of John Adams, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1965), 3:46–98 and 98–314 for the two trials. John Hodgson’s original notes for the soldiers’ trial were published as The Trial of William Wemms et al. (Boston: J. Fleeming, 1770). John Adams complained that Hodgson’s record was grossly inaccurate. Also see Quincy, Memoir, pp. 24–49, and Hiller Zobel, The Boston Massacre (New York: W. W. Norton, 1970).
22. Thomas Hutchinson, 1770 Diary, Egerton Ms. 2666, British Library; and Zobel, Boston Massacre, pp. 259, 282, and 355 n. 31 for the “youthful ardour” statement, taken from marginalia in Adams’s copy of William Gordon’s History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment, of the Independence of the United States of America, 4 vols. (London: Charles Dilly, 1788), in the Boston Public Library. Quincy’s impetuosity did not end in the courtroom. See Adams’s comments on Quincy’s behavior on a 1774 trip where Quincy rushed to beat his brother Samuel and Adams to a fishing spot, in L. H. Butterfield et al., eds., Adams Family Correspondence, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1963), 1:122.
23. Depositions from the 14th regiment, bivouacked at Castle William, are in PRO/CO 5/88, fos. 357–424; depositions from the 29th regiment, which had been relocated to New Jersey, are in ibid., fos. 425–523. Access to the depositions, especially those taken in New Jersey, could have been a problem, but then Quincy may instead have considered using materials gathered by Boston patriots and subsequently printed in newspapers around the colonies. Those materials aimed at getting the troops out of town. Quincy might have tried to turn what patriots thought was a clear record of tyranny by soldiers against civilians into evidence of just the opposite view of things—unruly civilians harassing long-suffering troops. See Oliver Morton Dickerson, ed., Boston under Military Rule, 1768–1769 (Boston: Chapman & Grimes, 1936), for a reissue of those accounts, which had been offered as anonymous “journal” entries and sundry other documents from 28 September 1768 through 1 August 1769.
24. Letter from Josiah Sr. to Josiah Jr., 22 March 1770 in Quincy, Memoir, pp. 26–27.
25. Ibid., p. 29n.
26. “Callisthenes,” Boston Gazette, 10 February 1772. For the Richardson trial see Wroth and Zobel, eds., Legal Papers, 2:396–430; and Zobel, Boston Massacre, pp. 223–226.
27. Hodgson, Trial, pp. 75, 76.
28. Including his father-in-law, William Phillips, and Dr. Joseph Warren. Letter from Josiah Jr. to Josiah Sr., 26 March 1770 in Quincy, Memoir, p. 28.
29. Zobel, Boston Massacre, p. 221, an opinion that Hutchinson had expressed at the time in his 1770 Diary, Egerton Ms. 2666, British Library.
30. Josiah Jr. to Josiah Sr., 26 March 1770 in Quincy, Memoir, p. 28. John Adams would reminisce on the third anniversary of the “massacre” that the jury had acted properly in the soldiers’ trial—that convicting those men would have been a travesty rivaling that of the Salem witchcraft hysteria executions some eighty years before. Even so, this “is no reason why the Town should not call the Action of that Night a ‘Massacre’ because of the injustice of placing soldiers among civilians in peacetime.” Butterfield, ed., Diary and Autobiography, 2:79.
31. For Quincy’s rise in the Boston town meeting see Richard D. Brown, Revolutionary Politics in Massachusetts (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970), pp. 63–64, and passim; and, for November 1772, The Votes and Proceedings of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, In Town Meeting assembled, According To Law (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1772); also in Record Commissioners, Town Records, pp. 83–86, 93–99.
32. Votes and Proceedings, p. 2; Record Commissioners, Town Records, p. 95.
33. At least according to Quincy, Memoir, p. 52. The Petersham instructions appeared in the Boston Evening-Post, 18 January 1773, and certainly read as if they could have come from Quincy’s pen, concluding, “We believe that there are very many, who in these days have kept their integrity and garments unspotted; and hope that God will deliver them, and our nation for their sake. GOD will not suffer this land, where the gospel hath flourished, to become a slave of the world; he will stir up witnesses of the truth, and in his own time spirit his people to stand up for his cause and deliver them. In a similar belief, that Patriot of Patriots, the great ALGERNON SIDNEY, lived and died, and dying breathed a like sentiment and prophecy, touching his own and the then approaching times; a prophecy however not accomplished until a glorious revolution.”
34. Howe, ed., “1773 Journal,” p. 432. Much of this journal appears in Quincy, Memoir, between pp. 56–111, but with none of the editorial alterations, deletions, and even bowdlerizations being identified. The original from which Howe worked is in the Quincy Papers, no. 61 (reel 3) MHS. Josiah wrote to his wife Abigail soon after docking that “I had not the least expectation of ever seeing you or my dear boy again; I was fully convinced that we must perish.” In Quincy, Memoir, p. 71.
35. Josiah Jr. to Josiah Sr., 15 April 1773, a transcript by Eliza Susan Quincy in her “Memoir,” vol. II, p. 88, Quincy Papers no. 46 (reel 6) MHS.
36. Quincy, “Journal,” Quincy Papers no. 61 (reel 3) MHS, pp. 32–33; cf. Howe, ed., “1773 Journal,” p. 437, and Quincy, Memoir, p. 67.
37. Ibid., p. 91; cf. Howe, ed., “1773 Journal,” p. 456. Also see Josiah Jr.’s letter to Samuel Quincy, 6 April 1773, both the original in the Quincy Papers (reel 29) MHS, and E. S. Quincy’s transcript in the “Memoir,” vol. II, pp. 82–84, reel 6.
38. Ibid., p. 138; cf. Howe, ed., “1773 Journal,” p. 469, and Quincy, Memoir, p. 100.
39. Ibid., p. 141; cf. Howe, ed., “1773 Journal,” p. 470, and Quincy, Memoir, p. 105.
40. Joseph Reed to Josiah Quincy Sr., (?) August 1773, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS.
41. George Clymer to Josiah Quincy Jr., 29 July 1773, in ibid.; also Quincy, Memoir, p. 116.
42. Josiah Quincy Jr. to George Clymer, August 1773, in Quincy, Memoir, p. 119.
43. L. F. S. Upton, ed., “Proceedings of Ye Body Respecting the Tea,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series 22 (1965):297.
44. Quincy included this excerpt in a letter to his wife from London of 14 December 1774, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel) 29 MHS. It often turned up in nineteenth-century accounts of the Tea Party, such as in Richard Frothingham, Life and Times of Joseph Warren (Boston: Little, Brown, & Company, 1865), p. 276; and Francis Drake, Tea Leaves (Boston: A. O. Crane, 1884), p. LX. Presumably Frothingham saw the letter, since the 1874 and 1875 editions of the Memoir do not include this part of Quincy’s speech. The original 1825 edition has nothing at all on the Tea Party.
45. Quincy, Memoir, p. 125, and E. S. Quincy’s note on that page. For context see Benjamin Woods Labaree, The Boston Tea Party (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964); Brown, Revolutionary Politics in Massachusetts; and John W. Tyler, Smugglers and Patriots (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1986).
46. For which see David Ammerman, In the Common Cause (Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of Virginia, 1974).
47. Quincy, Observations, pp. 19, 76.
48. “Your well wisher” in the Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS; also see Quincy, Memoir, pp. 131–135.
49. Printed in the Massachusetts Gazette, 19 May 1774; reprinted (with minor changes) in Quincy, Memoir, pp. 135–136. Also see Quincy, Observations, p. 4n.
50. Nash, “From Radicalism to Revolution,” pp. 263–266. Also see the Quincy letter to Samuel Adams, 20 August 1774, Samuel Adams Papers, New York Public Library, much of which is in Quincy, Memoir, pp. 155–157; and Quincy’s letter to John Dickinson of that same date, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS, also in Quincy, Memoir, pp. 149–151. See too Charles Chauncy to Samuel Adams, 26 August 1774 and Adams to Chauncy, 19 September 1774, both in the Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS (with the latter also in Quincy, Memoir, p. 155) and Chauncy’s letter of introduction to Thomas Amory in ibid. (and Quincy, Memoir, pp. 159–160). The Boston Gazette, 3 October 1774 noted Quincy’s departure; the 2 January 1775 issue noted his arrival at Falmouth. For the various rumors circulated by Quincy’s political opponents as to why he left see Abigail Adams to John Adams, 16 October 1774, in Butterfield et al., eds., Adams Family Corres., 1:173; Josiah Sr. to Josiah Jr., 26 October 1774, in Quincy Papers (reel 29), also in Quincy, Memoir, p. 160; and Nathaniel Appleton to Josiah Jr., 15 November 1774 in Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29), and Quincy, Memoir, p. 174.
51. E. S. Quincy, “Memoir,” vol. II, p. 17, Quincy Papers no. 46 (reel 6) MHS. Eliza Susan also commented here that “They had three children, but their second son [the future Mayor] alone survived the period of infancy.”
52. Josiah Jr. to Abigail Quincy, 5 November 1774, in ibid. No. 51 (reel 29) MHS, also in Quincy, Memoir, pp. 187–188. I have offered a new transcription of the London journal, beginning on p. 217, and will refer readers to it. Dan Coquillette is supervising a new transcription of the 1773 Southern journal and it will appear in Volume Two. See Susan Lindsey Lively, “Going Home: Americans in Britain, 1740–1776” (Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1996), to compare Quincy’s reactions with those of other colonists who traveled to England.
53. “Journal,” p. 227 infra, with “peice” and “beautifull” altered above. Also see Josiah Jr. to Abigail Quincy, 13 November 1774, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS.
54. “Journal,” p. 225 infra.
56. London as Babylon in a letter to John Dickinson, 20 August 1774, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS, with the Babylon reference deleted from the printed version in Quincy, Memoir, pp. 149–151; ideas on the wreck in the “Journal,” p. 228 infra, which Howe rendered as “rack.”
57. “Journal,” p. 229 infra.
58. Josiah Jr. to Josiah Sr., 27 November 1774, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS. He expressed similar sentiments in a letter to Abigail of 13 November 1774 in ibid., printed in Quincy, Memoir, p. 211. Franklin told Quincy that he was indeed the author of two pamphlets widely attributed to him: the edict of the King of Prussia and how to make a great empire small. Quincy’s “Journal” entry of 24 November 1774, p. 236 infra.
59. “Journal,” p. 235 infra; and letter to Abigail, 24–27 November 1774, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS. For Quincy and other Americans in London who tried to influence British policy see Julie M. Flavell’s “Lord North’s Conciliatory Proposal and the Patriots in London,” English Historical Review 107 (1992):302–322, and “Americans of Patriot Sympathies in London”; John Sainsbury, Disaffected Patriots (Kingston, Ont.: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1987), passim; Colin Bonwick, English Radicals and the American Revolution (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1977), pp. 27–80; Pauline Maier, From Resistance to Revolution (New York: W. W. Norton, 1991; orig. ed., 1972), pp. 241–255; Carl B. Cone’s biography of Dr. Richard Price, Torchbearer of the Revolution (Lexington, Ky.: University of Kentucky Press, 1952), pp. 52–90; Robert E. Toohey’s brief chapter on Macaulay in Liberty and Empire (Lexington, Ky.: University of Kentucky Press, 1978), pp. 81–90; and Bridget Hill, The Republican Virago: The Life and Times of Catharine Macaulay, Historian (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), pp. 184–204.
60. “Journal,” p. 241 infra.
61. Ibid., p. 246 infra.
62. “Extraordinary woman” in ibid., p. 246; Quincy as Henry Ireton in letters, beginning 24–27 November 1774, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS. For Macaulay’s flattering assessment of Ireton as a principled republican see The History of England From the Accession of James I to the Elevation of the House of Hanover, 3rd ed., 5 vols. (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1769–1772), an excerpt from which ended up in Quincy’s commonplace book, p. 25. Hill, Republican Virago, p. 202, suggests that Quincy might have inspired Macaulay to write An Address to the People of England, Ireland, and Scotland, on the Present Important Crisis of Affairs (London: John Holt, 1775).
63. Josiah Jr. to Abigail Quincy, 12 January 1775, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS, also printed in Quincy, Memoir, pp. 260–261; sentiments he also entered in his journal: see p. 237 infra.
64. “Journal,” p. 257 infra.
65. Ibid., p. 256 infra.
66. Ibid., p. 248 infra.
67. Ibid., p. 236 infra. For Quincy’s apparent obsession with Hutchinson see his letters to Abigail of 24–27 November and 7 December 1774 in the Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS (also in Quincy, Memoir, pp. 205–212, 216–220). Also see Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson (Cambridge: The Belknap Press, 1974), pp. 1–3 and passim.
68. With North in “Journal,” pp. 230–232 infra, and Dartmouth, p. 235 infra.
69. Peter Orlando Hutchinson, ed., The Diary and Letters of His Excellency Thomas Hutchinson, Esq., 2 vols. (London: Sampson, Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1883, 1886), 1:301. From Quincy’s own journal and Hutchinson’s diary it is evident that Quincy was closed out of ministerial circles within weeks of his arrival in London. By the end of December Hutchinson took virtually no notice of Quincy who by then only had the ear of a half-listening opposition.
70. Franklin to James Bowdoin, 25 February 1775, in Leonard W. Labaree et al., eds., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 36 vols. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959–), 21:507. Also see the transcript of Franklin’s letter to Josiah Sr. the next day in E. S. Quincy, “Memoir,” vol. I, Quincy Papers no. 45 (reel 6) MHS, printed in Quincy, Memoir, Appendix, pp. 410–411.
71. Josiah Jr. to Abigail Quincy, 8 November 1774, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS, printed in Quincy, Memoir, pp. 190–191.
72. Josiah Jr. to Josiah Sr., 22 January 1775, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS, printed in Quincy, Memoir, p. 278; spasms in “Journal,” p. 262 infra.
73. “Journal,” p. 265 infra.
74. Josiah Jr. to Thomas Bromfield, 18 March 1775, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS; excerpts printed in Quincy, Memoir, p. 284.
75. Warren to Josiah Jr. 21 November 1774, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS. Also see Lovell’s letters of 10 October and 19 December 1774; Joseph Reed’s of 25 October 1774; and John Dickinson’s of 28 October 1774 in ibid. All except Lovell’s letter of December 19 were printed in Quincy, Memoir, pp. 176–179, 161–162, 165–167, 168–170, resp. Warren advocated resistance; the others were not so sure. And yet their resignation to war as a possibility helped make its outbreak a self-fulfilling prophecy. For more on this see my essay “Our First ‘Good’ War: Selective Memory, Special Pleading, and the War of American Independence,” Peace and Change 15 (1990):371–390.
76. Josiah Jr. to Abigail Quincy, 14 December 1774, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS; and Josiah Jr. to Joseph Reed, 17 December 1774, ibid. Eliza Susan Quincy used a facsimile of part of the letter to Reed as the frontispiece for the 1874 edition of the Memoir, with the full letter on pp. 231–237. The letter to Abigail of December 14 is in ibid., pp. 224–227. For Josiah Jr.’s contemplation of the use of force before 1774 see his “Hyperion,” Boston Gazette, 5 October 1767.
77. Even Franklin hedged his bets, saying that if war did result, “only New England would hold for ages against this Country and if they were firm and united in seven years would conquer them.” See Quincy’s journal entry of 3 March 1775, pp. 266–267 infra.
78. Flavell, “Americans of Patriot Sympathies,” reviews Quincy’s mission (pp. 64–92) and also notes William Lee’s interest in the use of force (pp. 157–162), expressed in a letter to Samuel Adams, 4 March 1775, that Quincy carried with him (original in the Samuel Adams Papers, Box 2, New York Public Library, reel 1 of microfilm copy).
79. “At Sea April the 21st 1775,” Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 30) MHS, edited and cleaned up (like much else) by Eliza Susan Quincy, Memoir, pp. 286–287. In this case, I used Eliza Susan’s version. For a transcription of the original see pp. 267–269 infra.
80. Nathaniel Appleton to Oliver Wendell, 8 May 1775, Quincy Papers (reel 30) MHS. Also see Abigail Adams to John Adams, 26 April 1775, where Abigail lamented the “melancholy Event,” in Butterfield et al., eds., Diary and Autobiography, 2:162n; and John’s lament to Abigail that he was “wounded to the Heart” by the news, letter of 30 April 1775 in Butterfield et al., eds., Adams Family Corres., 1:190. And see Abigail’s letter to John of 4 May 1775 in ibid., 1:193. Josiah Jr. had been more than a friend to both Abigail and John: Abigail’s mother was a Quincy, and John had courted Josiah’s sister Hannah before he pursued Abigail.
81. Abigail Quincy to Josiah Quincy Sr., 18 September 1775, in E. S. Quincy, “Memoir,” vol. II, Quincy Papers no. 46 (reel 6) MHS.
82. E. Quincy, Life of Josiah Quincy, p. 22. For the notion of “Republican Motherhood,” see Linda K. Kerber, Women of the Republic (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1980).
83. Josiah Quincy Sr. to Josiah Quincy [the Mayor], 16 March 1784, in the Quincy Papers no. 69 MHS; transcript in E. S. Quincy, “Memoir,” vol. II, Quincy Papers no. 46 (reel 6) MHS. Also see the reminiscence of Eliza Quincy, Josiah the Mayor’s wife, in [Eliza Susan Quincy, ed.] Memoir of the Life of Eliza S. M. Quincy (Boston: John Wilson, 1861), pp. 74–75. James Russell Lowell used Josiah the Mayor as his exemplar of virtuous service in “A Great Public Character,” Atlantic Monthly (November 1867):618–632. Had Josiah the Mayor died in his youth, his father set aside £2000 in his 1774 will to endow a chair in moral philosophy at Harvard.
84. E. Quincy, Life of Josiah Quincy, p. 57. The Independent Chronicle, 26–29 March 1798, ran a brief obituary.
85. Hannah Lincoln to Samuel Quincy, 11 May 1775, in E. S. Quincy, “Memoir,” vol. I, Quincy Papers no. 45 (reel 6) MHS.
86. Samuel Quincy to Josiah Jr., 1 June 1774, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS, printed in Quincy, Memoir, pp. 138–140. Also see Samuel’s letter to Josiah of 13 April 1773 in the Quincy Papers (reel 29), showing Samuel’s concern for Josiah’s health when Josiah left on his southern journey.
87. A 1783 tribute by Josiah Quincy Sr., Quincy Papers no. 61 (reel 3) MHS. A transcript of Franklin’s 11 September 1783 letter to the elder Quincy is in E. S. Quincy, “Memoir,” vol. I, ibid. no. 45 (reel 6) MHS, printed in Quincy, Memoir, Appendix, pp. 423–425. Several versions of an epitaph that John Quincy Adams wrote sometime after Abigail Quincy’s death in 1798 are in the Quincy Papers no. 61 (reel 3) MHS; and in Eliza Susan’s “Memoir,” vol. II, ibid. no. 46 (reel 6). Adams’s epitaph (along with a simpler statement by Josiah the Mayor), not Josiah Sr.’s, was inscribed on the monument that Josiah the Mayor eventually had placed on the burial mound. The words are very worn now but were copied when more legible for William S. Pattee’s A History of Old Braintree and Quincy (Quincy, Mass.: Green & Prescott, 1878), pp. 121–122. Adams lauded Quincy for his “brilliant talents,” his “eloquence,” his “indefatigable application,” and his dedication to the “cause of his country.”
1. Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, Letters on the Study of History, 2 vols. (London: A. Millar, 1752), 1:69.
2. Quincy had no doubt encountered Francis Bacon’s opinion of commonplace books as well: “For the disposition and collocation of that knowledge which we preserve in writing, it consisteth in a good digest of common-places; wherein I am not ignorant of the prejudice imputed to the use of common-place books, as causing a retardation of reading, and some sloth or relaxation of memory. But because it is but a counterfeit thing in knowledges to be forward and pregnant, except a man be deep and full, I hold the entry of common-places to be a matter of great use and essence in studying; as that which assureth copie of invention, and contracteth judgment to a strength. But this is true, that of the methods of common-places that I have seen, there is none of any sufficient worth; all of them carrying merely the face of a school, and not of a world; and referring to vulgar matters and pedantical divisions without all life or respect to action.” From the Advancement of Learning, Book II, in Spedding et al., eds., Works, 6:280–281 (full citation in the chapter listing “Sources”). Nonetheless, Bacon himself compiled a commonplace book in the 1590s, recording thoughts that he would later expound upon in his published works.
3. Bolingbroke, Letters, 1:9, for “learned lumber;” 1:15 for history as philosophy; and 1:64 for “general principles.” Bolingbroke could have found the “history is philosophy teaching by examples” expression in Thucydides or Dionysius of Halicarnassus—yet another classical borrowing. As Henry Steele Commager observed in Commager on Tocqueville (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 1993), p. 53, it was “a principle taken for granted by almost everyone until the notion that history is a separate discipline came along.”
4. See Quincy’s commonplace book, p. 128 (p. 149 infra), Quincy Papers no. 59 (reel 4) MHS.
5. Last will and testament, dated 28 February 1774, with a codicil added 9 September 1774, in the Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS; excerpt printed in Quincy, Memoir, p. 289.
6. [John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon], Cato’s Letters, 4 vols. (London: W. Williams, T. Woodward, J. Walthoe, and J. Pelle, 1733), 1:xxviii, from Gordon’s introduction.
7. Mr. [Joseph] Addison, Cato. A Tragedy (Boston: Mein and Fleeming, 1767), p. 51, Act III, Scene 5. Thomas began putting these lines on the masthead of the Massachusetts Spy on 22 November 1771. Quincy entered them in his law reports for August 1765, vol. II, p. 58, in Quincy Papers no. 57 (reel 4) MHS; printed in S. Quincy, ed., Reports, p. 174. Also see Frederic M. Litto, “Addison’s Cato in the Colonies,” WMQ, 3rd series 23 (1966):431–449.
8. T. Gordon, The Works of Sallust (London:T. Woodward and J. Peele, 1744), especially Gordon’s second discourse, “Of Patriots and Parricides,” pp. 26–59.
9. Commonplace book, p. 70 (p. 129 infra); Quincy, Observations, p. 57.
10. T. Gordon, “Discourse III. Upon Caesar the Dictator,” in Works of Tacitus, 2nd ed., 4 vols. (London: T. Woodward and J. Peele, 1737), 1:64–65. This is not to say, however, that Caesar had been universally reviled then or in the next generation. Editors John and William Langhorne, Quincy’s source for Plutarch’s Lives, criticized Plutarch for being too harsh, for giving Caesar too little credit for his greatness in some things, if not all.
11. Ronald Mellor, Tacitus (New York: Routledge, 1991), pp. 1–2. Also see Herbert W. Benario, “Gordon’s Tacitus,” The Classical Journal 72 (1976–1977):107–114; and for the classical tradition in general Charles F. Mullett, “Classical Influences on the American Revolution” ibid. 35 (1939–1940):92–104, which paved the way for Richard M. Gummere, The American Mind and the Classical Tradition (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963); H. Trevor Colbourn, The Lamp of Experience (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1965), which includes a nice little section on Quincy (pp. 77–82); and Carl J. Richard, The Founders and the Classics (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994), which, in a small slip, attributes a reminiscence by Josiah Quincy the Mayor to his father, Josiah Junior (pp. 16–17). Also see Howard Mumford Jones, O Strange New World (New York: Viking Press, 1964), pp. 227–272.
12. Gordon, ed., Works, 1:xiv.
13. John Dickinson, A Speech Delivered in the House of Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania, May 24, 1764 (Philadelphia: William Bradford, 1764), pp. 4–5. Quincy quoted from this text in his commonplace book, pp. 205–207 (p. 174 infra).
14. For Tacitus in Jefferson’s library see Jefferson’s letter to Robert Skipwith of 3 August 1771 in Julian Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 30 vols. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950–), 1:76–81; for Tacitus as the “first writer” see Jefferson’s letter of 6 December 1808 to Anne Cary Bankhead in Andrew A. Lipscomb, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 20 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904–1905), 18:255. Jefferson wrote to John Adams on 2 February 1816 that the “Morality of Tacitus, is the Morality of Patriotism,” in Lester J. Cappon, ed., The Adams-Jefferson Letters (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1959), p. 462.
15. John Langhorne and William Langhorne, eds. and trans., Plutarch’s Lives, 6 vols. (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1770), 4:223 (Alexander). Also see G. J. D. Aalders, Plutarch’s Political Thought (Oxford: North-Holland Publishing Co., 1982); and Martha Walling Howard, The Influence of Plutarch in the Major European Literatures of the Eighteenth Century (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1970).
16. Ibid., 2:257 (Paulus Aemilius).
17. Commonplace book, p. 48 (p. 121 infra).
18. Ibid., p. 44 (p. 119 infra), from the Langhornes’ Plutarch, 4:328–329 (Caesar).
19. Ibid., p. 48 (p. 121 infra), from the Langhornes’ Plutarch, 5:329.
20. E[dward] W[ortley] Montagu, Reflections on the Rise and Fall of the Antient Republicks (London: A. Millar, 1759); “loose and roving life” in the Leslie Stephen, ed., Dictionary of National Biography, 21 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1885–1900) in sketch, 13:684–686.
21. Montagu, Reflections, p. 24. Commenting on recent events in Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson wrote that “human nature discovers itself the same in all ages” (1770 Diary, Egerton Ms. 2666, British Library). Lord Chesterfield, another of Quincy’s commonplace book sources, also wrote that “human nature is always the same”—which is not to say that Chesterfield or Hutchinson or Quincy believed that history simply repeats itself. Chesterfield was no slavish admirer of antiquity. Elsewhere he made it clear that there were distinct ancient and modern ages, and that no two societies, much less any two individuals, could be identical. See Philip Dormer Stanhope, Lord Chesterfield, Letters to His Son, 2 vols. (London: J. Dodsley, 1774), 1:393, and 1:264, resp.
22. Ibid., pp. 7–8.
23. [Daines Barrington], Observations upon the Statutes, Chiefly the More Ancient from Magna Charta to the Twenty-first of James the First, 2nd ed. (London: W. Bowyer & J. Nichols, 1766); Algernon Sidney, Discourses Concerning Government. With his Letters, Trial, Apology, and Some Memoirs of his Life (London: A. Millar, 1763). Both are included (though no specific edition is identified) in Quincy’s posthumous Catalogue of Books nos. 69 and 61, resp., in Quincy Papers no. 53 (reel 4) MHS. For Sidney’s importance to the Revolutionary generation see Caroline Robbins’s “Algernon Sidney’s Discourse on Government: Textbook of Revolution,” WMQ, 3rd series 4 (1947):267–296, and The Eighteenth-Century Commonwealthman (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959). Peter Karsten discussed Sidney in Patriot-Heroes in England and America (Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1978), pp. 38–56; as did Alan Craig Houston more recently in Algernon Sidney and the Republican Heritage in England and America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991).
24. David Hume, Esq., Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects (London: A. Millar, 1758), p. 253.
25. Ibid., pp. 30, 31, from “Of the Independency of Parliament.”
26. Ibid., p. 19, one of many aphorisms from “That Politics may be reduced to a Science.”
27. David Hume, The History of England, 8 vols. (London: T. Cadell, 1770).
28. Robertson’s The History of Scotland, 4th ed., 2 vols. (London: A. Millar, 1761) and The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles the Fifth, 3 vols. (London: W. and W. Strahan, 1769) are in the posthumous Catalogue of Books, nos. 210 and 206 resp., and were drawn from for the commonplace book, pp. 8–16 (pp. 105–108 infra). Quincy quotes from Sir William Temple’s Works, 2 vols. (London: A. Churchill, et al., 1720) in ibid., pp. 208–212 (pp. 174–176 infra).
29. J. B. Black, “Robertson” in The Art of History (London: Methuen & Co., 1926), p. 128; “prince of historians” in Quincy, Observations, p. 7.
30. Baron [Jacob Friedrich] Bielfield, The Elements of Universal Erudition, 3 vols. (London: G. Scott, for J. Robson and B. Law, 1770), 3:71–72; and copied into Quincy’s commonplace book, pp. 30–31 (pp. 113–114 infra); included in the posthumous Catalogue of Books, no. 222.
31. Catharine Macaulay, The History of England From the Accession of James I to the Elevation of the House of Hanover, 3rd ed., 5 vols. (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1769–1772), 1:v. Macaulay’s History is no. 230 on the library list.
32. Ibid., 1:viii.
33. Ibid., 1:x.
34. Quincy probably knew little if anything of the “battle of the books” between “ancients” and “moderns” in Britain during the first half of the eighteenth century. That he cited more “ancients” in the commonplace book—Addison, Swift and Swift’s patron and mentor Sir William Temple—than “moderns” may not signify much. Besides, the “moderns” did not deny the importance of the classical tradition, particularly on what constituted civic virtue and political corruption, the very subjects that most concerned Quincy. See Joseph M. Levine, The Battle of the Books (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991).
35. Ibid.; quoted in Quincy, commonplace book, p. 20 (pp. 109–110 infra).
36. See Stephen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980); and Joan Marie Lechner, Renaissance Concepts of the Commonplaces (New York: Pageant Press, 1962). Quincy certainly fit into the tradition discussed by Greenblatt and Lechner. His commonplace book was a repository of rhetorical eloquence and persuasive logic, a compendium grounded in moral philosophy and preoccupied with virtue and vice. It was even an attempt—through imitation, ironically—to form “an autonomous self,” as Kenneth Lock-ridge wrote of William Byrd II. See Kevin Berland, Jan Kirsten Gilliam, and Kennth Lock-ridge, eds., The Commonplace Book of William Byrd II of Westover (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2001), p. 93.
37. Quincy Papers no. 57, law reports, 1764–1767, vol. II, pp. 56–58; printed in S. Quincy, Reports, pp. 173–174.
38. Gordon, Sallust, p. 167; included in the commonplace book, p. 169 (p. 162 infra).
39. A Complete Collection of the Lords’ Protests, From the First Upon Record in the Reign of Henry the Third, To the Present Time; With A Copious Index, 2 vols. (London: 1767; reissued with supplement, 1772), 2:140–141, copied in the commonplace book, p. 198 (p. 172 infra). Quincy used this same passage in his Observations, p. 8. The passage that Quincy quoted was buried in a six-part, four-page reaction to the failure of a bill from Lords that would have revived a 1701 Scottish law to more fully extend habeus corpus to Scots accused of a crime. That Quincy found this passage, as he found passages in other works, is proof of his reading—not skimming—the materials he turned to for the commonplace book. He probably read “An Historical Essay on the Legislative Power of England” appended to volume 2 as well, yet another source for the idea of an ancient Saxon constitution. Also see [John Sadler], Rights of the Kingdom: Or, Customs of our Ancients (London: J. Kidgell, 1682), which Quincy cited in the commonplace book, pp. 224–225 (pp. 180–181 infra).
40. Record Commissioners, Boston Town Records, 1770–1777, pp. 26, 28.
41. Quincy, Observations, p. 12.
42. From an undated letter in E. S. Quincy, “Memoir,” vol. II, p. 8, Quincy Papers no. 46 (reel 6) MHS. Also see Quincy’s letter to John Eagleson of 15 September 1768, ibid., pp. 8–12; printed in the Memoir, pp. 12–13.
43. “Pro Lege,” Boston Gazette, 4 January 1768; also see Peter C. Hoffer and N. E. H. Hull, “Power and Precedent in the Creation of an American Impeachment Tradition: The Eighteenth-Century Colonial Record,” WMQ, 3rd series 36 (1979):51–77.
44. “Hyperion,” Boston Gazette, 28 September 1767.
45. Ibid., 5 October 1767.
47. “Pro Aris Et Focis,” Boston Gazette, 11 September 1769. Did Quincy borrow this Latin phrase for his non de plume from David Hume? See Hume’s “That Politics may be reduced to a Science” in Hume, Essays, p. 19. Or had he been reading John Pym’s 1641 speech in Commons, a speech alluded to in Macaulay, History, 4:434? Or did he encounter the phrase somewhere else entirely? John Dickinson must have known that Quincy wrote this essay. After wondering, in a letter to Quincy of 28 October 1774 in the Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS, if European powers would intervene in a war between Britain and the colonies, he asked, “If they shall not, what can she [Britain] effect at 3000 Miles Distance, against at least four hundred thousand freemen fighting ‘pro aris et focis?’”
48. “Hyperion,” Boston Gazette, 5 October 1767, in response to “A true Patriot,” Massachusetts Gazette, 24 September 1767; “An Independant,” Boston Gazette, 12 February, 26 February, and 12 March 1770, prompted by “A Bostonian,” The Boston Chronicle, 5 February, 19 February and 5 March 1770; “Marchmont Nedham,” Boston Gazette, beginning on 8 June 1772, countered by “Lelius,” Massachusetts Gazette, 11 June through 9 July 1772; and “Edward Sexby,” Boston Gazette, 12 October 1772, versus “Common Sense,” Massachusetts Gazette, 1 October 1772, supplement; quote from “Edward Sexby.” See “C—the Cobler,” Massachusetts Gazette, 25 June 1772 for an attack on Marchmont Nedham as a “dying Creature” marked by “Th’ Symptoms of Death”—this author knowing very well that Quincy was the man behind the pen name.
49. “Hyperion,” Boston Gazette, 3 October 1768, quoting from Andrew Marvell, The Rehearsal Transpros’d: The Second Part (London: Nathaniel Parker, 1673), p. 380, later inserted in the commonplace book, p. 5 (p. 113 infra). And of course the “great giver of every good gift” allusion ties Quincy to the Bible—James 1:17—but, again, Quincy’s borrowings were eclectic.
50. “An Old Man,” Boston Gazette, 6 August 1770.
51. “Marchmont Nedham,” ibid., 6 July 1772.
52. Plots “truly diabolical” in “Hyperion,” ibid., 26 September 1768, supplement; “boasted Liberty” in “Hyperion,” ibid., 3 October 1768.
53. “Hyperion,” ibid., 25 November 1771.
54. “Marchmont Nedham,” ibid., 6 July 1772; “her” meaning Anne Hutchinson.
55. Ibid., 3 January 1774.
56. Ibid., 7 February 1774. Quincy, ironically, would use Hutchinson’s own history of the Bay Colony to try and embarrass Hutchinson. See Quincy’s Observations, p. 7. Quincy also drew from Hutchinson’s history for the commonplace book, p. 177 (p. 165 infra).
57. Ibid., 10 January 1774.
58. Macaulay, History, 5:106–107n; copied into the commonplace book, p. 97 (p. 138 infra).
59. Gordon, Tacitus, 1:227; and in the commonplace book, p. 80 (p. 132 infra).
60. Quincy, Observations, virtues of freeholders, p. 1; striking similarities, p. 68; “Attend” America, p. 69; “Daemons” of malevolence, p. 75. “Brutus” quoted the Observations approvingly in an editorial of 4 August 1774 in the Massachusetts Gazette. For context see John Shy, Toward Lexington (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965); and John Phillip Reid, In Defiance of the Law (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1981).
61. Ibid., p. 57, for the Declaratory Act; pp. 6, 11, 12, 19, 22, for George III; future era, p. 15; and American unity, p. 25.
62. Ibid., p. 55.
63. Ibid., p. 45; also in the commonplace book, p. 44 (pp. 119–120 infra); originally from the Langhornes’ Plutarch, 4:223.
64. Ibid., p. 36; apparently paraphrased from the commonplace book, p. 70 (p. 129 infra), which in turn had been copied from Gordon’s Tacitus, 1:221–222.
65. Ibid., p. 37n.
66. Ibid., wisdom of Saxon ancestors, pp. 42–43; Massachusetts militia, p. 47.
67. “Hyperion,” Boston Gazette, 5 October 1767.
68. “Pro Aris Et Focis,” ibid., 11 September 1769.
69. Quincy, Observations, p. 82. See the commonplace book, p. 50 (p. 122 infra), where Quincy copied a heroic exchange between Brutus and Cassius from the Langhornes’ Plutarch, 6:88. Quincy’s “band of brothers” allusion came, one way or another, from Shakespeare’s Henry V (Act IV, Scene 3)—as did, for example, George Washington’s use of the phrase in his November 1783 farewell to his troops, for which see John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1932–1945), 27:224.
1. James Anderson, ed. and trans., An Introduction to the Metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas (Washington, D.C.: Henry Regnery, 1953), pp. 115–116. Aquinas noted that he was following Aristotle here.
2. James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., 4 vols. (London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1807), 2:377.
3. Adams to Jefferson, 30 July 1815, in Cappon, ed., Adams-Jefferson Letters, p. 451.
4. Jefferson to Adams, 10–11 August 1815, ibid., p. 452.
5. See Charles Warren, “Fourth of July Myths,” WMQ, 3rd series 2 (1945):237–272; and Garry Wills, Inventing America (New York: Doubleday, 1978), pp. 337–344. For a variation on this theme see M. H. Smith, The Writs of Assistance Case (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978), pp. 231–268, which reviews Adams’s atttempts to remember and memorialize James Otis’s February 1761 argument before the Massachusetts Superior Court.
6. See Becker’s “What Are Historical Facts?” Western Political Quarterly 8 (1955):327–40 as well as the better known “Everyman His Own Historian,” American Historical Review 37 (1932):221–233.
7. Daniel J. Boorstin, “A Wrestler with the Angel” in Hidden History (New York: Harper & Row, 1987), p. 6.
8. Boyd et al., eds., Papers of Jefferson; Robert J. Taylor et al., eds., Papers of John Adams, 10 vols. (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1977–).
9. Adams’s legal commonplace book is in Wroth and Zobel, eds., Legal Papers, 1:4–25; his early literary commonplace book (ca. 1755–1756) is outlined in Taylor et al., eds., Adams Papers, 1:7–10. Had most of Quincy’s books not burned it would have been possible to do for Quincy something akin to Zoltán Haraszti’s John Adams & The Prophets of Progress (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952). Haraszti tried to reconstruct part of Adams’s political philosophy by sifting through the marginalia that Adams left in over one hundred of the three thousand plus books he owned by 1822. It is possible to get some idea of what legal tracts Adams read by going to Butterfield et al. eds., Diary and Autobiography, Wroth and Zobel, eds., Legal Papers, and Adams’s allusions in the “Novanglus” essays of January–April 1775. Daniel R. Coquillette, “Justinian in Braintree: John Adams, Civilian Learning, and Legal Education, 1758–1775,” Colonial Society of Massachusetts. Publications 62 (1984):359–418, and James M. Farrell, “New England’s Cicero: John Adams and the Rhetoric of Conspiracy,” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 104 (1992):55–72, ably show what can be done with the surviving sources. For Jefferson’s reading and personal library see H. Trevor Colbourn, “Thomas Jefferson’s Use of the Past,” WMQ, 3rd series 15 (1958):56–70; Douglas L. Wilson, “Jefferson’s Library” in Merrill Peterson, ed., Thomas Jefferson: A Reference Biography (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1986), pp. 157–179; and James Gilbreath and Douglas L. Wilson, eds., Thomas Jefferson’s Library (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1989). Gilbert Chinard edited both the legal and literary commonplace books, as The Commonplace Book of Thomas Jefferson: A Repertory of His Ideas on Government (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1926) and The Literary Bible of Thomas Jefferson (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1928). Douglas L. Wilson edited a more exacting version of the latter as Jefferson’s Literary Commonplace Book (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), he also commented on Jefferson’s reading and commonplace book entries at the time that he wrote A Summary View in “Jefferson vs. Hume,” WMQ, 3rd series 46 (1989):56–58. Focusing on misogynistic tendencies, Kenneth Lockridge offers a very different reading of Jefferson’s literary commonplace book (and that of William Byrd II) in On the Sources of Patriarchal Rage (New York: New York University Press, 1993).
10. Josiah Quincy Jr. to Dr. Lincoln, 25 December 1764, in Eliza Susan Quincy, “Memoir,” vol. II, p. 4, Quincy Papers no. 46 (reel 6) MHS; also excerpted in Quincy, Memoir, p. 7n.
11. See Thomas Brand Hollis to Quincy, 2 March 1775, and Charles Dilly to Quincy, 9 March 1775, in Quincy Papers (reel 29) MHS; and “Journal,” p. 267 infra.
12. Portia in “The Merchant of Venice,” Act IV, Scene 1, from Hodgson, Trial, p. 148; “The Tempest” in Howe, ed., “1773 Journal,” p. 430. If, as I suggest elsewhere (see Prologue, n. 14), Quincy was the “Centinel” who wrote for the Massachusetts Spy in 1771–1772, then he probably did the parodies discussed in my “Hamlet as American Revolutionary,” Hamlet Studies 15 (1993):40–53.
13. Thomas Jefferson to Robert Skipwith, 3 August 1771, in Boyd et al., eds., Papers of Jefferson, 1:77.
14. These are all listed in the posthumous Catalogue of Books in the Quincy Papers no. 53 (reel 4) MHS.
15. Garrett Ward Sheldon, The Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 2, though Sheldon sees the pre-Revolutionary Jefferson as leaning toward Lockean liberalism while the post-Revolutionary Jefferson turned more toward classical republicanism.
16. Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge: The Belknap Pres, 1967), p. 26. Also see Bailyn’s The Origins of American Politics (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968), pp. 3–58. Bailyn commented on Gordon’s importance as editor of Tacitus and he used the 1774 list of books that Quincy willed to his son as the epigraph to Chapter 2 in Ideological Origins, but he worked from the Memoir, p. 289, which left out Gordon’s Sallust and Macaulay’s History. For a somewhat different perspective see Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1969), especially pp. 34–36, 48–53; and Paul A. Rahe’s magnum opus on Republics Ancient and Modern (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1992). The difficulties—better yet, the impossibilities—of identifying and quantifying all the sources of Revolutionary thought can be seen in the attempts by David Lundberg and Henry F. May, “The Enlightened Reader in America,” American Quarterly 28 (1976):262–293; and Donald S. Lutz, “The Relative Influence of European Writers on Late Eighteenth-Century American Political Thought,” American Political Science Review 78 (1984):189–197, and the cautionary note in Oscar Handlin, “Learned Books and Revolutionary Action, 1776,” Harvard Library Bulletin 34 (1986):362–379.
17. [Joseph Addison], The Free-Holder, or Political Essays (London: D. Midwinter, 1716), p. 151, from the 26 March 1716 issue (no. 28). See the commonplace book, p. 213 (p. 176 infra), for the passage that Quincy copied.
18. Hugh Baillie to Josiah Quincy Jr., 28 January 1775, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS.
19. Becker, “What Are Historical Facts?”, p. 336. Writing as “Novanglus” on 23 January 1775, John Adams argued that the principles that underlay government “are the principles of Aristotle and Plato, of Livy and Cicero, of Sydney, Harrington and Locke.—The principles of nature and eternal reason”; in Taylor et al. eds., Papers of John Adams, 2:230. Thomas Jefferson showed the same inclusiveness. In an oft-quoted passage from a letter to Henry Lee of 8 May 1825, Jefferson characterized the Declaration of Independence as drawing its “authority” from various sources, such as “Aristotle, Cicero, Sidney, Locke, etc.,” as taken from Andrew A. Lipscomb, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 20 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1904–1905), 16:118–119.
20. Quincy quoted Bolingbroke in the commonplace book on pp. 128–129; Swift on pp. 99, 133 (infra, pp. 137 and 150 resp). Chesterfield broke with Walpole in the 1730s, so he could be included in this group. Quincy quoted from his Letters to his son on pp. 303–304 of the commonplace book. The Pope epigraph appeared on the title page of Quincy’s 1774 Observations. The Commons debates excerpts are on pp. 102–125 (pp. 140–148 infra) of the commonplace book.
21. For the careers of Nedham and Sexby see the DNB sketches in 14:159–164 and 17:1230–331, resp. Quincy entered one extract from Nedham’s Mercurius Politicus in the commonplace book, p. 220 (p. 178 infra). He wrote as “Edward Sexby” for the Boston Gazette, 12 October 1772.
22. Reid, In Defiance of the Law, pp. 25, 99, although I should note that Bailyn made more of an effort to show the difficulty of linking ideological cause and behavioral effect. In the symbiotic world of thought and deed, one does not simply flow from the other. See Bailyn’s “Political Experience and Enlightenment Ideas in Eighteenth-Century America,” American Historical Review 67 (1962):339–351; and “The Central Themes of the American Revolution: An Interpretation” in Stephen G. Kurtz and James H. Hutson, eds., Essays on the American Revolution (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1973), pp. 3–31. Also see Bailyn’s Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, p. ix, for Bailyn’s belief that modern historians can have an improved ability to understand the past—an attitude to some extent extrapolated from Herbert Butterfield, The Whig Interpretation of History (New York: W. W. Norton, 1965; orig. ed., 1931).
23. John P. Diggins, The Lost Soul of American Politics (New York: Basic Books, 1984), pp. 347–65. Also see Steven M. Dworetz, The Unvarnished Doctrine (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1990), pp. 39–64; and Quentin Skinner, “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas,” History and Theory 8 (1969):3–53. Perhaps paradigmatic obsessions have warped the historiography of the Revolutionary generation’s thought. Reacting to the emphasis on “civic humanism,” Bernard Bailyn, in the 1992 reissue of his Ideological Origins, commented that the “spokesmen of the Revolution” would have been “surprised to hear that they had fallen into so neat a pattern of the history of political thought” (p. vi). He did not, however, abandon his own emphasis on Enlightenment rationalism in general and the commonwealth tradition in particular. Steven Dworetz cites approvingly Thomas Pangle’s The Spirit of Modern Republicanism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), p. 29, where Pangle criticizes some modern Revolutionary Era historians for their faulty understanding of the classical tradition in their attempts to trace “influence” on thought. Even so, Dworetz concedes that “A thousand technically correct citations of Locke (or any other source) in a Revolutionary pamphlet would not authorize a claim of influence. In short, there’s no way to measure influence, however much it may have occurred” (Unvarnished Doctrine, p. 195n; also see pp. 37–38). The problem in assigning motives is equally vexing. Pauline Maier, one of Bailyn’s students, confessed in From Resistance of Revolution, p. xx, that “Motivation remains the most elusive of historical problems, and efforts to attribute it to any one cause, or to identify conceptual structures as causes in themselves, seem to me inadequate.” Also see Colbourn, Lamp of Experience, p. vi (and Colbourn’s return to Becker).
24. “Last will and testament,” 28 February 1774, Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS; excerpts also in Quincy, Memoir, p. 289.
25. From the “Legis Miscellenea,” law reports, 1765–1769, vol. III, Quincy Papers no. 58 (reel 4) MHS.
26. See commonplace book, in the “Antitheta Rerum” on pp. 237–264 (pp. 187–193 infra). Perhaps Quincy would have agreed with Jefferson, who called Bacon one of “the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception” (the other two being John Locke and Isaac Newton; Jefferson to John Trumbull, 15 February 1789, in Boyd et al., eds., Papers of Jefferson, 14:561). If so, it would serve as an interesting example of the selectiveness of their borrowing: two critics of royal prerogative who admired the intellect of a king’s man. Still, those who would dismiss Bacon as a mere defender of monarchical power ought to peruse Daniel R. Coquillette, Francis Bacon (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1992).
27. [Arthur Young], Political Essays Concerning the Present State of the British Empire (London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1772), pp. 416–433 (Essay V, section 5). For Quincy’s borrowings see the commonplace book, pp. 131–159 (pp. 149–159 infra); also see the posthumous Catalogue of Books, no. 126, for Quincy’s copy.
28. [Matthew Robinson-Morris], Considerations on the Measures Carrying On with Respect to the British Colonies in North-America, 4th ed. (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1774), pp. 6, 13, resp. For Quincy’s excerpts see the commonplace book, pp. 232–233 (p. 183 infra). Edwin G. Burrows and Michael Wallace, “The American Revolution: The Ideology and Psychology of National Liberation,” Perspectives in American History 6 (1972):167–306, put Robinson-Morris into the context of imperial crisis as familial dispute (see pp. 237–238).
29. “Foresight,” Boston Evening-Post, 2 March 1772.
30. John [Jan] De Witt, Political Maxims of the State of Holland (London: J. Nourse, 1743), p. 7, in reference to the people of ancient Israel in the book of 1 Samuel.
31. David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985). Or as John Vernon, an English professor, put it, “Those with a passionate interest in the past feel sooner or later that history’s unknowability mocks them,” in “Exhuming a Dirty Joke,” New York Times Book Review, 12 July 1992, p. 35.
32. Nash, “From Radicalism to Revolution,” p. 254; Shaw, American Patriots, pp. 23–25, 153–174, with the Hutchinson statement on p. 153.
1. It was bequeathed to the Massachusetts Historical Society in December 1919 by Josiah Junior’s great-great-granddaughter, Fanny Huntington Quincy, wife of Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe.
2. According to the posthumous Catalogue of Books, entry 43, Quincy Papers no. 53 (reel 4) MHS, Quincy owned a three volume set of John Locke’s writings—probably The Works of John Locke Esq., 3 vols. (London: John Churchill, 1714). That collection included “A New Method of a Common-Place-Book” (3:481–495). Although Quincy did not follow Locke’s format, he did have his own version of Locke’s recommended headings and index.
3. “Obsta principiis—Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people” wrote John Adams in his third “Novanglus” essay (6 February 1775); reprinted in Taylor, et al., eds., Papers of John Adams, 2:255.
4. Quincy put the Dickinson extracts on even numbered pages only and, miscounting, left out p. 270. He also left out p. 269, and made no entries on pp. 267 and 271. Dickinson had begun a commonplace book when he was in London to read law at the Middle Temple. It is very fragmented, with but a handful of entries, and can be found in the Logan Family Papers, collection no. 379, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
5. For Bacon’s format see the Advancement of Learning, Book VI, Spedding et al. eds., Works, 9:156–182. Bacon explained in Book II (ibid., 6:302): “Antitheta are Theses argued pro et contra; wherein men may be more large and laborious; but (in such as are able to do it), to avoid prolixity of entry, I wish the seeds of the several arguments to be cast up into some brief and acute sentences; not to be cited, but to be as skeins or bottoms of thread, to be unwinded at large when they come to be used; supplying authorities and examples by reference.” Also see ibid., 6:280–281, cited above on p. 49.
6. Quincy listed no source here, so did he go to Plutarch for it or had he long before committed the passage to memory? After all, what Quincy encountered in one source he encountered, in a different form, in others, as key values were passed from one generation to another, through one writer to another. Thus Bacon’s variation on Plutarch in the Advancement of Learning, Book VIII, where Bacon had advised (and Quincy had most likely read): “And therefore, as in the universities preceptors use[d] to advise young students from too much company keeping, by saying, ‘Friends are the thieves of time;’ so certainly the constant attention of the mind to the discretion of the behaviour is a great thief of more serious meditation.” Taken from Spedding et al. eds., Works, 9:235.
7. Quincy is borrowing from the Langhornes’ Plutarch’s Lives, 6:1 (Dion); also see 2:172 (Caius Marcius Coriolanus), in the commonplace book, p. 37.
8. Quincy first copied Bacon’s aphorism about crafty men, wise men, and studies in his 1765 “Legis Miscellenea,” Quincy Papers no. 58 (reel 4) MHS.
9. Quincy was quoting from Bacon’s treatise on “Universal Justice” included in Book VIII of the Advancement, which is composed of “aphorisms.” Aphorism 5 refers to laws as “sinews and instruments;” aphorism 8 states that “the best law” is that “which leaves least to the discretion of the judge”—with Bacon referring readers to Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Book I, Chapter 1.
10. This passage and the one above it can also be found in Bacon’s “Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates,” Essays [12:179].
11. Quincy inserted this passage in the margin of p. 65, but it has been placed here so that the excerpt from Fortescue is not interrupted.
12. “Their liberties and properties” appears in the margin, next to an asterisk.
13. Quincy is referring to Phillipe de Comines’ Cronique et hystoire (1524), which appeared in numerous French editions and had long been translated into English.
14. Quincy miscounted.
15. Quincy had in the margin: “*NB. This was in 1744.”
16. Quincy paraphrased here, using his own words to convey Bacon’s message.
17. Bacon wrote that “More dangers have deceived men than forced them.”
18. Quincy’s reaction appears in the margin of p. 136, but was moved here, to the end of Young’s passage.
19. Quincy entered in the margin “*Sir Robert Walpole’s time.”
20. This is Young’s footnote, not Quincy’s, and Young used another edition of Hume’s Essays. I changed the reference to the 1758 one volume edition that Quincy owned and used, and I added the essay title.
21. Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, The idea of a patriot king, first printed in London anonymously in 1743, then reissued under Bolingbroke’s name by A. Millar in 1749, with Letters on the spirit of patriotism. Quincy had placed the reference in the margin.
22. Charles Rollin’s Ancient History was first published in French in 1729–1730; by the American Revolutionary era the Frenchman’s multi-volume study had been printed in a number of English editions. It apparently sold well on both sides of the Atlantic.
23. This is Burke’s footnote, which Quincy copied into the commonplace book. Burke referred to Thomas Madox, Esq., The History and Antiquities of the Exchequer of the Kings of England, 2 vols. (London: William Owen and Benjamin White, 1769). Moved into the text from the margin.
24. Emmerich de Vattel was a Swiss jurist; his The law of nations was first printed in French in 1758, and appeared in an English translation that same year. It was moved into the text from the margin.
25. “*Of Great-Britain,” Quincy noted at the bottom of the page.
26. Thomas Rymer, ed., Foedera, conventiones, literae et cujuscunque generis acta publica, inter reges Angliae, et alios quosvis imperatores, reges, pontifices, principes, vel communitates, 20 vols. (London: A. & J. Churchill; J. Tonson, 1704–1735).
27. Henry Scobell, ed., A collection of acts and ordinances of general use, made in the Parliament, begun and held at Westminster the third day of November, anno 1640 and since, unto the adjournment of the Parliament begun and holden the 17th of September, anno 1656 (London: H. Hills and J. Field, 1658).
28. Barrington is referring to manuscripts collected by William Petyt (d. 1707) and deposited at the Inner Temple in London.
29. Entered by a different hand, obviously after Josiah Jr.’s death; probably by Josiah the Mayor.
30. Again, a different hand; and, again, probably Josiah the Mayor.
32. Remember in using this index that pp. 266–272 (excerpts from Dickinson’s 1774 Essay) and pp. 300–303 (extracts from Barrington’s Observations) have been moved and follow p. 234 of the commonplace book. The alphabetical and topical order are as Quincy arranged them, with editorial changes in punctuation and capitalization only.
1. Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe, A Venture in Remembrance (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1941), p. 139.
2. A standing nicely illustrated by the circumstances of Edmund Quincy, his wife’s nephew, who had gone to Italy just as World War II erupted, there to pursue his career as a painter. Engaged to an Italian woman, he asked “Uncle Mark” to send along information from the family genealogy that would prove to government authorities that he had no Jewish ancestry; otherwise he might not have been issued a marriage license. See Quincy’s letters to Howe of 29 December 1939 and 20 January 1940 in the M. A. DeWolfe Howe Papers, bMS Am 1524, Houghton Library, Harvard University. And Howe did come to know Eliza Susan in some sense as he worked on The Articulate Sisters (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1946), where he drew together excerpts from the journals and letters of Eliza Susan and three of her four sisters, all of them younger. He wrote, characteristically, the briefest of introductions, with a few scattered comments thereafter.
3. Howe, Gentle Americans, p. 14.
4. Howe to Morison, 1 August 1928, Howe Papers, bMS Am 1524, Houghton Library.
5. Barrett Wendell and His Letters (Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1924).
6. Howe, Venture in Remembance, p. 3.
7. Howe, Gentle Americans, p. xv. In her own way, Helen Howe—a successful novelist—was trying to do for her father what Eliza Susan Quincy had tried to do for her grandfather: keep alive the memory of an enviable approach to life as exemplified by one man.
8. Both appeared in the MHS. Proceedings, the former in 1916, the latter in 1917. At the same time he was working on a history of the Atlantic Monthly, where he had spent much of his early career, a history as well of the Humane Society in Massachusetts, yet another of Harvard men who had volunteered to fight in the Great War then raging, and a biography of politician and diplomat (and fellow Harvard alumnus) George von Lengerke Meyer. Dan Coquillette is preparing the 1773 Southern journal for inclusion in Volume Two.
9. The rebinding was done in 1913, paid for through the MHS by the “Winthrop funds.”
10. See Howe’s interesting little essay on “Nearing Ninety” in the Atlantic Monthly 192 (December 1953):71–74.
11. Merchant William Dennie, who had been denounced as a leading rebel in a handbill passed around Boston that same month. It is printed in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register 21 (1867): 60. A member of the North End caucus, friend of merchants running the social spectrum from John Hancock to William Molineux, Dennie was ardent in his denunciation of imperial policy—in the the town meeting, and even in public.
12. In a letter to John Dickinson of August 20 Quincy wrote: “At the urgent solicitation of a great number of warm friends to my country and myself, I have agreed to relinquish business, and embark for London.” Quincy Papers no. 51 (and reel 29) MHS; also printed in Quincy, Memoir, 150. He embarked from Salem.
13. In a brief journal that he started then stopped in favor of the text above, he wrote (with bracketed material added by Mark Howe): “With us went passengers Messrs. W[illiam] Hys-lop and son; Dr. [Timothy?] Paine and Rufus Chandler, Esq., of Worcester; Mr. [Stephen?] Higginson, of Salem, and Mr. Sylvester Oliver, son of the late Lieutenant-Governor [Andrew Oliver]. Some of us might say, ‘Nos dulcia linguimus arva,’ while others were obliged to mourn, ‘Nos patriam fugimus.’” Quincy quoted from Virgil’s “Eclogues,” I (Meliboeus) to make this contrast of those (like Quincy) who left their beloved homeland by choice while others (like Oliver) had to flee. Quincy Papers, no. 51 (also reel 29) MHS. Printed in Quincy, Memoir, 187. On November 17 Thomas Hutchinson noted the arrival of Oliver and Quincy in his Diary, 1:295, and listed the other passengers as well.
14. His wife Abigail. Quincy addressed her as “E_” or “Eugenia” throughout the trip—“according to the affectation of the day,” as Mark Howe put it.
15. His father-in-law, Boston merchant and leading patriot, William Phillips.
16. This could refer to any of three Gerry brothers—Elbridge, Thomas, or John—all of whom were Marblehead merchants, heirs to the flourishing shipping business left to them by their father, who had died that June.
17. This “castle”—actually a smallish round tower with curtain wall, built during the reign of Henry viii—is located on a spit of land at the entrance to Falmouth harbor.
18. Eliza Susan Quincy’s manuscript “Memoir,” vol. 1, pp. 170–171, Quincy Papers no. 45 (reel 6) MHS included the following as a journal entry (as did the printed Memoir, p. 190), but without noting that it is from the two-page false start (see n. 13 above) rather than the full-length journal. The original is in the Quincy Papers, no. 51 (and also on film 29) MHS, an entry dated 8 November 1774:
Tuesday morning (six weeks wanting a day since leaving Salem) landed at Falmouth in the county of Cornwall.
Having reached the famous Island of Britain, I am prone to contemplate the glorious deeds that have made it immortal—but alas! my affections and my duty call me to consider the state of my native country.
I found considerable advantage by attending to my companions, and often collected much information of men and things, that from the political jealousies and cautions prevalent in America I could not there so readily attain.
One of the first convictions I received was, touching the source of many American injuries, and one of my first emotions was indignation against public conspirators.
I find that there was very great doubt, whether I was going to embark for Europe; but certain (sequestered) Americans were very sure I should never dare go up to London.
19. George, 3rd Baron Edgcumbe, a vice admiral who had served in the French and Indian War and whose family had long dominated local life. He was not particularly active in the House of Lords but, generally speaking, he supported the crown even if uninvolved with the hurly-burly of ministerial politics.
20. On the facing page Quincy entered and then crossed out notes to himself about amounts paid to “Chandler” and “Higinson” and “Oliver,” and that he was at Salisbury on Tuesday night, November 15.
21. Henry Herbert, 10th Earl of Pembroke, whose family seat was Wilton House. Well connected socially, including within the royal household, he supported government policy on the colonies but became critical of North once the shooting war started—which put some distance between him and George III. Peripatetic agricultural reformer Arthur Young described the house and its artwork in his A Six Weeks Tour Through the Southern Counties of England and Wales, 3rd ed. (London: W. Strahan, 1772), pp. 191n–196n. His reaction to Pembroke’s art collection anticipated that of Quincy. And Young, like Quincy, liked the local countryside in general—well-kept farms, with Salisbury “one of the prettiest towns in England”(p. 197).
22. John Wallop, 2nd Earl of Portsmouth.
23. See an “Extract from a genuine Letter just received from a Person of considerable character in Boston, brought by Captain Lyde,” that appeared in the London Chronicle, 15–17 November 1774.
24. Howe rendered this word as “rack.”
25. Quincy made use of a family connection here. Thomas Bromfield had gone to England as part of a business association with his brother Henry, who remained in Boston. Their sister Abigail was married to William Phillips, Quincy’s father-in-law.
26. Edward and Charles Dilly were London booksellers, friendly to the American cause and well-connected in certain social circles. They admired Catharine Macaulay, shared her political views, and acted as publishers for both her multi-volume History and her Observations in response to Burke in 1770. They also printed the Langhornes’ first edition of Plutarch’s Lives that same year. For a nice sketch of the Dillys—with a mention of Quincy—see L. H. Butterfield, “The American Interests of the Firm of E. and C. Dilly, with Their Letters to Benjamin Rush, 1770–1795,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 45 (1951):284–332.
27. Benjamin Franklin’s grandnephew. His father John, a wealthy Boston merchant and Patriot leader, had married Franklin’s niece, Grace Harris. The younger Williams studied law under John Adams’s tutelage and was then living in London with his great-uncle, his post as a customs inspector in Massachusetts essentially a sinecure.
28. Presumably at Franklin’s residence on Craven Street. This row building still stands, just to the southwest of Charing Cross Station, with a plaque noting that Franklin had lived at one of the addresses there. It would have been a fifteen minute (or less) walk from Quincy’s rooms on Arundel Street in the Haymarket, where he lodged with a Mrs. Lawrence. With no Trafalgar Square to deflect traffic, Quincy could have strolled in a gentle loop from his neighborhood to Cockspur Street past the Royal Mews to Charing Cross, and then taken a right turn and down half a block to the far side of Craven. Howe commented that the Memoir omitted some lines from Josiah’s letter to Abigail on the same day that reported on the visit: “You will discern a little vanity in the communication of this anecdote [repeating the local gossip that he had come to sow “seeds of sedition”], but you have seen so many of my foibles before, I thought I would not hide this from you. Take care lest this communication don’t infect your heart with its contagion.” The full letter is in the Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS.
29. Corbyn Morris was an avowed mercantilist and government bureaucrat whose tenure dated back to Walpole in the 1740s. Nevertheless, he advocated reform of the navigation system to make the empire come closer to the notion of reciprocity for all its component parts. He was respected for the depth of his ideas and had been elected a fellow of the Royal Society in the
30. Dr. Edward Bancroft, an American living in London whose double-dealing did not begin until later. Welcomed into Franklin’s circle as a friend to the Patriot cause, he later spied for the British and his duplicity, playing one side against the other, was never discovered by either. See Julian Boyd, “Silas Deane: Death by a Kindly Teacher of Treason?” WMQ, 3rd series 16 (1959):165–187, 319–342, 515–550; with a few corrections in my Burning the Dockyard: John the Painter and the American Revolution (Portsmouth: Portsmouth City Council, 2001; no. 71 in The Portsmouth Papers series).
31. Edward Shuter, long a staple of the London stage, now nearing the end of his thirty-year career.
32. Howe included this note from the London Chronicle, 19–22 November 1774: “On the 19th a ‘Masque’ of ‘The Druids’ was performed at Covent Garden in which the following actresses took part: Miss Dayes, Miss Brown, Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Ogilvie and Mrs. Willems. In the second performance of the masque a ‘happy trick’ was introduced, of giving Pantallon an ‘American suit of tar and feathers,’ which occasioned an ‘uncommon roar through the house.’”
33. Quincy’s lingering anti-theatrical bias was common for New Englanders of that generation, even among those—like Quincy himself—who had a great love of Shakespeare and saw his plays performed when he could. See Hugh F. Rankin, The Theater in Colonial America (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1965); and also Kenneth Silverman, A Cultural History of the American Revolution (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1976).
34. Savile, a baronet and M.P. for Yorkshire, had aligned himself with Rockingham and (like his close friend David Hartley) against North’s punitive program. Sitting in Commons since 1759, he was a good example of a country gentleman who considered himself an independent, seeking no appointed office and answerable only to his constituents. Never in favor of holding the colonies by force, he called for an end to the fighting after Burgyone’s 1777 surrender at Saratoga.
35. I review these matters in “The Uses of Law and the Gaspee Affair,” Rhode Island History 50 (1992):3–22.
36. Compare this with Hutchinson’s report of North’s opinion, supra, pp. 40–41. Quincy later crossed out this entry—“I was flattered by the Idea, that many worthy men rejoiced at my coming both to prevent evil and do good”—perhaps because he said as much in a later entry that same day, or perhaps because (on later reflection) he had become more pessimistic about his prospects as transatlantic go-between.
37. “Josiah Quincy, Esqr; who arrived on Friday from Boston, had the next day a long conference with the Secretaries of State.” London Chronicle, 19–22 November 1774, also the St. James Chronicle for the same date.
38. Charles Lee, British army officer and French and Indian War veteran, was retired on half-pay and living in Virginia. He had written Strictures on “A friendly address to all reasonable Americans, on the subject of our political confusion” (Philadelphia: S. Southwick, 1775), which took to task the author of that screed, thought by some to be Myles Cooper, and by others Thomas Bradbury Chandler. The author of the original piece did not think that the Americans could make a fight of it if war should erupt. Lee countered that the Americans were good and brave, had acquitted themselves well in the previous war, and could be expected to do even better in any fight for their own freedom. See the overview in John Richard Alden, General Charles Lee: Traitor or Patriot? (Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1951).
39. William Lee, a transplanted Virginian who had become successful enough in English society to be elected a sheriff of London, along with his American friend Stephen Sayre. Neither he nor Sayre rose any further, however, as they failed in their bids to be elected to the House of Commons. Both had capitalized on the excitement and controversy surrounding John Wilkes, whose cause they embraced. Lee’s brother Arthur had also taken up residence in London. Their brother Richard Henry remained in Virginia.
40. Thomas Pownall, onetime governor of Masssachusetts whose pamphlet on imperial reform went through various editions between 1764–1774 in a failed attempt to find a structural solution to the imperial crisis. See G. H. Guttridge, “Thomas Pownall’s The Administration of the Colonies: The Six Editions,” WMQ, 3rd series 26 (1969):31–46; and John A. Schutz’s uncritical biography, Thomas Pownall (Glendale, Calif.: Arthur H. Clark and Company, 1951).
41. That is to say, Thomas Hutchinson. Dartmouth had received a copy of Quincy’s Observations the day before and had talked with Hutchinson about it. See Hutchinson, ed., Diary, 1:299–301, 304–305.
42. Richard Price, doctor of divinity, a non-conformist minister and moralist, he had once sat in Commons but withdrew from active politics, preferring instead to use his pen. He was friendly with Franklin and as well as with Chatham, Shelburne, and Barré. See Jon Erik Larson, Richard Price and the Ethical Foundations of the American Revolution (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1979); and Peter N. Miller, Defining the Common Good (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), with information on Joseph Priestley and James Burgh as well as Price in Miller’s discussion of the problem of state power in an imperial setting.
43. Richard Oliver, London merchant and city alderman, a Wilkeite in his politics and critic of North’s American policies.
44. Most likely Benjamin Vaughan, son of Samuel Vaughan, a merchant from the West Indies who had married into a Boston family—Sarah, daughter of Benjamin Hallowell. The younger Vaughan and Franklin became even closer over the years, with Vaughan pushing Franklin to finish his autobiography.
45. For the text and discussion of these September 1773 pamphlets see Labaree et al., eds., Papers of Franklin, 20:389–399 and 413–418, resp.
46. Paul Wentworth, having as a youth left New Hampshire for London where he prospered as a stockbroker and won the trust of both Suffolk and North. He would later recruit Edward Barncoft as a spy for the British government (see supra, n. 30).
47. Patience Wright, Franklin’s friend and confidante of many years.
48. Thomas Rogers, friend of Richard Price and father of Samuel Rogers, someday famous (for a fleeting moment) as a poet. Josiah wrote to Abigail on November 27: “I yesterday heard two eminent bankers and three very wealthy merchants say that, as soon as America shall free herself from the tyranny of this country, they would take their all and remove to New England: and they affirmed that they knew many more resolved to do the same.” Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS.
49. To his father he wrote that “If the affairs of America should terminate speedily in the freedom and peace of the country, I can send over very substantial yeomen with their families who will settle your Lenox land in a very short time—If you should think of such a plan, I must know the soil, the distance from a market and the best term of settlement.” He added that his “health” and “spirits” had never been better. Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS.
50. Hutchinson mentions the case in his Diary, 1:307–308. The London Chronicle, 26–29 November 1774, also carried news of the case, and summarized Mansfield’s speech in the 3–6 December 1774 issue. Also see the earlier report in the St. James Chronicle, 26–27 November 1774.
51. Howe suggested that this might have been Whitshed Keene, brother-in-law to Lord Dartmouth (his wife was North’s half-sister as well as Dartmouth’s sister) and M.P. for Montgomery, a Welsh borough. He was, like Barré, an Irish-born Army veteran.
52. Selina Hastings, widow of Theophilus Hastings, the 9th Earl of Huntingdon. A fixture in London society and close friend of the Earl of Dartmouth (they were brought together through Methodism), she lived in Spa Fields.
53. Sir Robert Howard wrote poetry and prose, plays as well as histories, all of which are now virtually forgotten. Quincy quoted from Milton’s Works in his commonplace book.
54. George Farquhar’s most famous play, first staged in 1707. Garrick, of course, was widely considered the finest Shakepearean actor on the London stage at the time of Quincy’s trip. At some point Quincy added a copy of the play’s text to his personal library. See the Catalogue of Books, no. 307, Quincy Papers no. 53 (reel 4) MHS.
55. Sir Fletcher Norton. Trained as a barrister, he had been solicitor general. North lobbied for him to be made speaker in an effort to solidify ministerial domination in Commons. After a decade as speaker Norton was eventually disillusioned by the American war and his own frustrated political ambitions, and broke with North.
56. Hutchinson was impressed, even if Quincy apparently was not. See Hutchinson, ed., Diary, 1:310. The speech was printed in the Annual Register for 1774 (London: J. Dodsley, 1775), 263–264.
57. Brownlow North, Lord North’s younger brother. He was about to be named Bishop of Worcester. He supported his brother loyally from his seat in the House of Lords.
58. Hartley, a new M.P. for Hull, was an old friend of Franklin who would protest against the use of force to subdue the Americans and helped see through very generous peace terms for them as a negotiator in 1783. Hutchinson commented in his Diary, 1:317 that Hartley believed “if things could be put upon the footing they were in the year 1764, the Colonies would be content. This same Hartley, Quincy, by some means or other, had made himself known to, and when Quincy was at the door [of the House], Hartley came out more than once, and inquired for him, and I think must have taken that hint from him.” See too George Herbert Guttridge, David Hartley, M.P.: An Advocate of Conciliation, 1774–1783 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1926).
59. Howe thought (in a note to the entry for December 19, but for the same individual) that this could have been “John Boyd, of Great George Street, Westminster, who sat in the Parliament of 1780 for Wareham Borough. Another possibility, yet even less a probability, was Hugh Boyd (1748–1794), a contributor to the Public Advertiser, and one of the reputed authors of ‘Junius.’” A more likely candidate is George Boyd of New Hampshire, then in London and a friend of Jonathan Williams. He went by “Colonel” Boyd. See Labaree, eds., Papers of Franklin, 21:241n.
60. William Bollan, who for years had been the Massachusetts agent in London, had a falling out with Bernard and then Hutchinson in the 1760s and was removed. He and the Massachusetts Council thereafter considered him the Council’s representative but Whitehall and Westminster did not want to give him official recognition. By Quincy’s arrival he was spending his time writing pro-Patriot pieces and presenting petitions to anyone in Parliament who would receive him. James Bowdoin, Quincy’s old political ally, had become a powerful advocate for the patriot cause on the Massachusetts Council, building on what he had already accomplished in the House and in the Boston town meeting.
61. Howe thought this might be Henry Thornton, who would someday sit in Commons for Southwark, a borough in Surrey. That seems highly unlikely, however; Thornton was only fourteen at the time Quincy made his entry. It was more likely Henry’s merchant father, John, a very successful dealer in the Baltic trade and leading evangelical, who did indeed have a fine estate outside Clapham, Surrey.
62. Quincy wrote “Galloway” in his journal, which Howe changed in his original note to Galway, for William Monckton, 2nd Viscount Galway in the Irish peerage, who also sat as an M.P. at Westminster for Pontefract, a Yorkshire borough. But William Monckton died in 1772. His brother Robert had sat for Pontefract thereafter but was not returned in the September 1774 election. Quincy may well have meant him, even though the title had passed to his nephew. Likewise, he could still have been presented as an M.P., though he would not sit again until 1778—and for Portsmouth, not Pontefract. Robert Monckton had served in the British Army during the French and Indian War, under Wolfe at Quebec. He was neither a strong ministry man nor a member of the political opposition. There was a Galloway who had sat in Commons the previous year: John Stewart, 7th Earl of Galloway in the Scottish peerage who was M.P. for Ludgershall, a Wiltshire borough. Franklin and John Alleyne were friends.
63. Anglo-Irishman William Fitzmaurice Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne (Irish peerage) and 2nd Baron Wycombe (English peerage), who chose to make his way in British rather than Irish politics and eventually rose to become the Marquess of Landsdowne. Shelburne, by then a leading Pittite, was reluctant to try and hang onto or even retake the colonies by force. He had had a long involvement in American affairs, on the board of trade and then as secretary of state for the southern department. He did not want to let the colonies go altogether, which is why in the secret peace negotiations that opened in the spring of 1782, when he was a secretary of state in Rockingham’s second ministry, he did what he could to persuade Americans not to sever all ties, even if that meant some sort of new commercial union to stand in place of the old political connection. See John Norris, Shelburne and Reform (London: Macmillan & Co., 1963).
64. That is to say, “without injury” or perhaps better in this case, “without difficulty.”
65. Letters from William Phillips and Abigail.
66. Thomas Brand Hollis, friend and heir of Thomas Hollis, who added the “Hollis” to his name. Hollis had been a business associate of Josiah’s deceased older brother Edmund and himself died less than a year before Josiah’s arrival in London. He continued the tradition of giving to Harvard begun by his great-uncle, also Thomas Hollis. For the Hollises see Robbins, Eighteenth-Century Commonwealthman, passim, and for Price, Priestley and James Burgh too.
67. Stephen Sayre, a New York merchant and banker who moved to London and, like William Lee, had been elected a sheriff there. John Richard Alden reviewed the life of this gadfly in Stephen Sayre (Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1983). Sayre eventually spent a harrowing if brief time in the Tower of London on a trumped-up charge of plotting to seize the King and overthrow North’s government.
68. Charles Pratt, the first Earl of Camden, Pitt’s friend since their days at Eton and political ally, he was also on good terms with the Rockingham group. Chief justice in the court of common pleas before becoming lord chancellor, he split with North over his American policies and his pursuit of Wilkes. Dismissed as lord chancellor in 1770, he helped lead the opposition in Lords.
69. Howe in his original note wrote “this appears to have been a division of newspapers among the Americans in London, but whether they were to write for them or merely to scrutinize with a view to sending to the colonies matter interesting to the colonists cannot be known. The press of London was at this time so under the influence of the ministry that free communication of American interests would hardly have been possible. The sheet wherein such matter did appear—the London Chronicle—is not mentioned in the list.” Actually, London papers like the Public Advertiser and St. James Chronicle often showed a predisposition to print material critical of the ministry and sympathetic to the Patriot cause. Howe rendered the letters opposite the “Pub Ledger” as “P—n H I—.” Solomon Luttnick, The American Revolution and the British Press, 1775–1783 (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 1967), pp. 224–225 listed London newspapers and their political leanings.
70. Michaijah Towgood, a leading Presbyterian minister with his own congregation.
71. Quincy was listing: Robert Nugent, Viscount Clare in the Irish peerage and M.P. for St. Mawes, a Cornwall borough; George Johnstone, onetime governor of West Florida, sitting in Commons for the borough of Appleby (in Westmoreland), who in 1778 would be a member of Carlisle’s failed peace commission; Richard Rigby, a dependable North supporter and M.P. for Tavistock in Devonshire; Charles James Fox, sitting for Malmesbury (Wiltshire) and not yet in opposition; David Hartley; and Henry Cruger, a New York-born Bristol merchant who represented that town. He often opposed North, on matters local and imperial.
72. Rose Fuller, M.P. for Rye, one of the Cinque ports. Oliver sat for London.
73. Alexander McDougall, a member of the patriot movement in New York since the late 1760s, who helped lead the tea protests of 1773 in that colony.
74. Joseph Reed of Philadelphia, who had lived in London and studied law at the Middle Temple. Quincy met Reed on his 1773 Southern trip and they had kept in correspondence. “I look to my country with the feelings of one who verily believes they must yet seal their faith & constancy to their liberties with blood. This is a distressing witness indeed. But hath not this ever been the lot of humanity?” Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 29) MHS. Eliza Susan Quincy used this letter from Quincy to Reed of 17 December 1774 as the frontispiece to the second and third editions of the Memoir.
75. “Jane Shore” is a tragedy written by Nicholas Rowe, first performed in London well over a half century before. The actors alluded to were Spranger Barry, Ann Spranger Barry, Elizabeth Hartley and Ann Catley.
76. Howe identified them as Alexander Champion and Thomas Dickason, London merchants with American connections.
77. James Cox, London instrument maker and inventor of “automaton clocks” that he showed to the public and sold to the wealthy. See the London Chronicle, 10–12 November 1774. Hutchinson visited it too and “some part of the machinery being extremely ingenious; and though there is a mixture of puerile entertainment, upon the whole, I thought the exhibition well worth seeing.” Hutchinson, ed., Diary, 1:229.
78. Joseph Priestley, who served the Earl of Shelburne as a sort of librarian, had just discovered “dephlogisticated air”—what his contemporary and acquaintance, French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, would call oxygen. Though trained in the ministry rather than in science, the non-conforming Priestley made other discoveries in chemistry as well. Priestley had strong political views and made his opposition to North’s American policies well-known. He may have influenced some of Shelburne’s thinking. Calne, in Wiltshire, was not far from Shelburne’s Bowood estate.
79. Catharine Macaulay, who lived in St. James Parade and was older sister to John Saw-bridge, one of the few radicals in Commons. She had not yet become socially controversial. Quincy quoted from her Observations on Burke’s Thoughts in his commonplace book.
80. John Temple, a relative of the Grenvilles but he did not share their politics. He married James Bowdoin’s daughter when he lived in Boston as a member of the board of customs there. Politically compromised by his Boston associations (which included friendship with Quincy), he was removed but then given the new post of surveyor general of customs in England—a way for North to make Temple less troublesome.
81. “Bath greatly exceeds London in regularity of building, and in being proportionally a much finer city,” concluded Arthur Young in his Six Weeks Tour, p. 180; “the most criticizing eye must allow that the Circus is truly beautiful, and ornamented to that just degree of elegance which, if I may be allowed the expression, lies between profusion and simplicity.”
82. Isaac Barré. He had served in the British army and was with Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham in 1759. He was tied closely to Shelburne but at the same time was on good terms with Rockingham. He sat in Commons for Calne. See supra p. 39 for Quincy’s somewhat awkward visit with him.
83. Barré may not have realized that his first contact with Quincy had been indirect, when Quincy, acting as a member of a Boston town meeting committee, had sent details to him about the “massacre.”
84. Shelburne had married Lady Sophia Carteret, daughter of John Carteret, 1st Earl of Granville, in 1765. She died six years later, leaving him with two sons.
85. Stevens was an actor who became more successful as a monologuist and his “A Lecture upon Heads,” a spoof of social conventions, became his most famous performance, which he also turned into a pamphlet.
86. The late Thomas Goldney, prominent Quaker and Bristol merchant, built his estate nearby at Clifton, which included a shell and fossil-lined subterranean grotto, beautiful gardens, a “folly” (tower), and other curiosities that he occasionally opened to the public.
87. Howe thought this could have been David Gorham, who became a Loyalist and, according to Hutchinson, ed., Diary, 1:375, ended up “seeking employ in the war against America.”
88. Master of the Chalkley.
89. Of Marblehead.
90. Margaret Stevenson, owner of the Craven Street house where Franklin boarded.
91. Quincy left a blank, perhaps not knowing Franklin’s age (70).
92. Here is another blank. Was Quincy being tactful—a socially diplomatic silence?
93. William Eden, who during the war would operate a rudimentary spy service for the Earl of Suffolk before joining the Earl of Carlisle’s failed peace commission to America in 1778.
94. This is a very specific allusion. Quincy drew on Virgil’s “Aeneid,” Book VI, with the Roman general Marcellus returning to the capital, towering triumphant over all, after he took Syracuse from the Carthaginians. (He would later be slain fighting Hannibal.) But did something more go through Quincy’s mind when Quincy wrote that Chatham seemed like “an old Roman Senator?” Had his thoughts turned to another, later Marcellus—Senator Marcus Claudius Marcellus—who spoke against allowing Caesar to enter Italy with his army? Marcellus contended that Caesar should be stripped of his power as consul if he tried; he would march forth from the Senate at the head of a people’s army to stop him, if necessary, he added dramatically. Plutarch and Cicero, both favorites with Quincy, talked of him. Again, we cannot know if Quincy made any such association, but it would not have been too much of a leap for him to do so.
95. Various versions of Chatham’s speech have come down to us. R. C. Simmons and P. D. G. Thomas, eds., Proceedings and Debates of the British Parliaments Respecting North America, 1754–1783, 6 vols. (Millwood, N.Y.: Kraus International Publications, 1982–1987), 5:268–87 printed four versions (one from John Almon’s parliamentary register, one from the London Chronicle, one from a listener’s recollection, and one from the Lords’s journal) and listed Quincy’s transcript as a source, but without printing it. Also see yet two more: The Speech of the Right Honourable The Earl of Chatham, in the House of Lords, on Friday the 20th of January 1775 (London: G. Kearsly, 1775); and Almon’s Anecdotes of The Life of the Right Hon. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, 3 vols. (London: L. B. Seeley, 1797), 2:298–315. Only the parliamentary register and Lord’s journal accounts are in third person; the others—Quincy’s included—purport to be Chatham’s words as the Earl spoke them. The Annual Register for 1775 (London: J. Dodsley, 1776), pp. 47–48 blended first- and third-hand in its brief synopsis. How are we to know which account is most accurate? That is indeed the question, as Hamlet might advise. According to the St. James Chronicle, 26–28 January 1775, Chatham denounced the Kearsly version as “spurious,” so Kearsly withdrew the unsold copies.
96. Quincy inserted in his journal a copy of Chatham’s motion that Stanhope sent to Franklin. Stanhope’s note read: “Lord Stanhope makes his compliments to Dr Franklin, and at the desire of Lord Chatham sends him the Motion made by him in the House of Lords yesterday, that the Doctor may be possessed of it in the most authentick manner by the communication of the individual paper which was read to the House by the mover himself.” The motion followed: “That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, most humbly to advise and beseech His Majesty, That in order to open the Ways towards an happy Settlement of the dangerous Troubles in America, by beginning to allay Ferments and soften animosties there; and above all, for preventing, in the mean time, any sudden and fatal Catastrophe at Boston, now suffering under the daily Iritation of an Army before their eyes, posted in their Town, It may graciously please his Majesty that Immediate Orders may be dispatched to Genl Gage for removing His Majestys Forces from the Town of Boston, as soon as the Rigour of the Season, and other circumstances indispensable to the Safety and accomodation of the said Troops may render the same practicable.” Chatham had his full, much longer proposal published as a Plan Offered by the Earl of Chatham, to the House of Lords (London: J. Almon, 1775). There is also a handwritten copy in the Chatham Papers, PRO 30/8/97.
97. To be victorious without suffering any loss, a passage from Horace (Book IV, Ode 14).
98. Chatham turned to the “Aeneid,” Book VI, for his reference to Rhadamanthus, brother of the king of Crete whose integrity was so unflinching, so unyielding, that Zeus made him one of the judges of the dead. Thus the Cretan holding sway with an iron hand, chastising those around him and hearing confessions of guilt. Had Chatham’s allusion caused Quincy to pick up a copy of Virgil, or had it brought to mind other favorite passages—thereby shaping Quincy’s introduction to Chatham’s speech? Perhaps.
99. The Rockingham ministry Declaratory Act of March 1766 was couched in deliberately evasive language, designed to simultaneously placate Americans and remind them of their subordination with the empire. The word tax is nowhere mentioned; instead, crown and parliament are stated to have the authority and power to “make laws” for the colonies “in all cases whatsoever.” Statutes at Large, 16 George III c. 12. Camden was being ironic. He and other Pittites had argued against the “all cases” elastic clause in the Declaratory Act because they made a distinction between taxation and other kinds of legislation that Rockingham and his followers did not make.
100. Sir John Selden, the jurist who edited Sir John Fortescue’s De Laudibus Legum Angliae and helped to keep the idea of an ancient constitution alive. Quincy quoted from Selden’s edition of Fortescue in his commonplace book.
101. Camden referred to Blackstone and his Commentaries.
102. Quincy referred to Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, whose opposition group dwarfed that of Pitt;Thomas Lyttelton, 2nd Baron Lyttelton; Henry Howard, 12th Earl of Suffolk and secretary of state for the northern department; Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Gower and lord president of the privy council; George Townshend, 1st Marquess Townshend and lord lieutenant of Ireland; William Henry Nassau Zuylestein, 4th Earl of Rochford and secretary of state for the southern department; Thomas Thynne, 3rd Viscount Weymouth, out of the ministry for the moment but soon to be a secretary of state. Ross J. S. Hoffman reviews Rockingham’s career in The Marquis (New York: Fordham University Press, 1973). Also see Frank O’Gorman, The Rise of Party in England (London: George Allen & Uwin, 1975)
103. Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, a sometime Rockingham Whig who preferred to think of himself as an independent. Few peers irritated George III more. See Alison Olson, The Radical Duke (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961).
104. Baillie had written tracts supporting the Americans as retorts to pieces by Samuel Johnson and John Shebbeare.
105. Burke, who sat for Bristol, was one of Rockingham’s key lieutenants; Johnstone is in the wrong column; Townshend, M.P. for Whitchurch (Hampshire) consistently opposed North; Lord John Cavendish, a son of the Duke of Devonshire, M.P. for York, and Rockingham supporter; John Luttrell, M.P. for Stockbridge (Hampshire), who criticized North’s policies before the war but, after naval service in American waters, changed his tune; John Sawbridge, M.P. for London and self-styled independent.
106. Meredith sat for Liverpool and was becoming a predictable friend of government; North, of course, was still in Commons, not succeeding his father in Lords until 1790; Clare refers to Robert Nugent; Anglo-Irishman Sir George Macartney was M.P. for Ayr Burghs, a Scottish borough, and also had a seat in the Irish House of Commons; Eliot sat for Roxburghshire (also in Scotland); Adams was M.P. for Carmathen (Wales); and Edward Stanley, son of Lord Strange and M.P. for Lancashire, who wished that North would be even tougher on the colonists.
107. John Fothergill, prominent Quaker physician.
108. Quincy inked out that Fothergill had said “quem Deus vult perdere prius dementat,” an idiomatic expression meaning: among those that God had decided to take, he would take their minds first.
109. Most likely Mary (“Polly” Stevenson) Hewson, the daughter of Franklin’s landlady on Craven Street.
110. Charles Bennet, 4th Earl of Tankerville, who often opposed North, especially on his American policies; John Dunning, a London barrister, loyal Pittite as M.P. for Calne, and counsel for Franklin in January 1774 when he was “examined” in the Cockpit; John Lee, a London barrister who had assisted Dunning in that hearing.
111. Howe thought that “Mollison” referred to London merchants William and Robert Molleson, and that “Wooldridge” was Thomas Wooldridge. David Barclay joined with fellow Quaker John Fothergill and Benjamin Franklin in an attempt at behind the scenes negotiations to solve the imperial crisis. For those efforts, placed in a larger context, see my “Federalism and the Failure of Imperial Reform, 1774–1775” History 86 (2001):155–179. Quincy apparently had no part in those talks.
112. For the proceedings of merchants in the American trade held at the King’s Arms Tavern, Cornhill, on 4 January 1775 see Peter Force, ed., American Archives, 9 vols. (Washington, D.C.: S. St. Clair Clarke, 1837–1853), 4th series, 1:1086; 1107 for their meeting of January 11, and 1219 for a meeting on February 11. Quincy was ill and preparing to leave as North’s “conciliatory” bill, which included a restraint on New England trade, was making its way through Parliament.
113. James Burgh, who in recent years had devoted himself full time to his Political Disquistions and whose ideas Quincy no doubt found intriguing. He died that August. See Toohey, Empire and Liberty, pp. 64–80.
114. Charles Morton, a onetime physician and fellow of the Royal Society who was soon to become principal librarian of the British Museum.
115. Howe offered this observation: “If this is a suggestion that Ferdinand, duke of Brunswick (1721–1792) be secured to command an army of the American colonies of Great Britain, it is the earliest mention of the name in that connection. On February 13, 1776, Arthur Lee hints at such as appointment, and in the following December Deane suggests ‘the engagement of a great general of the highest character in Europe, such as Prince Ferdinand, Marshal Broglie, etc.’” After referring readers to Lee’s letter in Francis Wharton, ed., Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 6 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1889), 1:392, Howe added: “He was also considered a fit commander of the British armies in America, but nothing came of either suggestion.”
116. The DeLanceys has already shown what would be their Loyalist ways.
117. Lindsey had recently abandoned the Church of England for Unitarianism and started his own London congregation, with the support of Price and Priestley.
118. Franklin, who like Quincy had been in the Lords gallery for the 20 January 1775 debate, wrote to Quincy’s father on 15 April 1776 that Quincy’s record was “exceedingly valuable, as being by much the best Account preserv’d of that Day’s Debate.” Letter printed in Labaree, et al., eds., Papers of Franklin, 22:401; Eliza Susan Quincy also copied it into her “Memoir,” vol. 1, p. 74, Quincy Papers no. 45 (reel 6) MHS.
119. The original, in the sailor’s hand, is in the Quincy Papers no. 51 (reel 30) MHS; Eliza Susan Quincy wrote a transcript, changing the spelling and grammar, in ibid. (reel 3) MHS.
120. I have deleted Quincy’s long, detailed explanation of the designs for the two rings that he had made in London and was bringing back with him (as did Eliza Susan Quincy in her transcript; see supra). Do note, however, that he felt compelled to explain how he had discharged this particular duty, even if it took his last breath. He also had a ring made for his father, which he entrusted to Abigail. At his direction the ring featured (as the sailor wrote) the “Godes Liberty Leaning on the Urn of the Discease” to show that they had been joined during his lifetime. At “her feet Lays Brutus is Dagger which the Discease may be Suppose to hold as her Diffence.” Above the urn, as the top of the ring, he had a circle to represent immortality, with room for a clipping of his hair to be inserted—already snipped, and stored in his trunk. The ring was handed down through the family, eventually to be displayed in the Quincy “mansion” built in 1770.