June 29

June 29, 1863

Monday. The Rebs shelled our quarters last night, and kept us huddled in the ravine until some were asleep. The weather grows hotter every day. Many give out in the rifle pits, though they contrive every way to get in the shade of something.

June Twenty-Ninth

His trumpet-tones re-echoed like
Evangels to the free,
Where Chimborazo views the world
Mosaic'd in the sea;
And his proud form shall stand erect
In that triumphal car
Which bears to the Valhalla gates
Heroic Bolivar!
James Ryder Randall

 

Henry Clay dies, 1852

 

 

Very warm and dry again this morning. General H. G. Wright, our corps commander, had an inspection and review at 7 o'clock this morning. It seemed so strange to be called out again for parade I hardly knew how to act. But what seems strange is that they should commence this thing when the men are all tired out. They need a day's rest more than anything else. I do wish they would consider the welfare of the men more. Well, here we are again! have marched all afternoon and turned up at Reames Station on the Weldon railroad; didn't know but what we were marching round to go into the back door of Petersburg or Richmond. I'm half dead with fatigue.

2. John Adams

York,[16] 29 June, 1774.

I have a great deal of leisure, which I chiefly employ in scribbling, that my mind may not stand still or run back, like my fortune. There is very little business here, and David Sewall, David Wyer, John Sullivan and James Sullivan, and Theophilus Bradbury, are the lawyers who attend the inferior courts, and consequently, conduct the causes at the superior.

I find that the country is the situation to make estates by the law. John Sullivan, who is placed at Durham in New Hampshire, is younger both in years and practice than I am. He began with nothing, but is now said to be worth ten thousand pounds lawful money, his brother James allows five or six or perhaps seven thousand pounds, consisting in houses and lands, notes, bonds, and mortgages. He has a fine stream of water, with an excellent corn mill, saw mill, fulling mill, scythe mill, and others, in all six mills, which are both his delight and his profit. As he has earned cash in his business at the bar, he has taken opportunities to purchase farms of his neighbors, who wanted to sell and move out farther into the woods, at an advantageous rate, and in this way has been growing rich; under the smiles and auspices of Governor Wentworth, he has been promoted in the civil and military way, so that he is treated with great respect in this neighborhood.[17]

James Sullivan, brother of the other, who studied law under him, without any academical education (and John was in the same case), is fixed at Saco, alias Biddeford, in our province. He began with neither learning, books, estate, nor anything but his head and hands, and is now a very popular lawyer and growing rich very fast, purchasing great farms, etc., and a justice of the peace and a member of the General Court.

David Sewall, of this town, never practices out of this county; has no children; has no ambition nor avarice, they say (however,quære ). His business in this county maintains him very handsomely, and he gets beforehand.

Bradbury, at Falmouth, they say, grows rich very fast.

I was first sworn in 1758. My life has been a continual scene of fatigue, vexation, labor, and anxiety. I have four children. I had a pretty estate from my father; I have been assisted by your father; I have done the greatest business in the province; I have had the very richest clients in the province. Yet I am poor, in comparison with others.

This, I confess, is grievous and discouraging. I ought, however, to be candid enough to acknowledge that I have been imprudent. I have spent an estate in books. I have spent a sum of money indiscreetly in a lighter, another in a pew, and a much greater in a house in Boston. These would have been indiscretions, if the impeachment of the Judges, the Boston Port Bill, etc., etc., had never happened; but by the unfortunate interruption of my business from these causes, those indiscretions became almost fatal to me; to be sure, much more detrimental.

John Lowell, at Newburyport, has built himself a house like the palace of a nobleman, and lives in great splendor. His business is very profitable. In short, every lawyer who has the least appearance of abilities makes it do in the country. In town, nobody does, or ever can, who either is not obstinately determined never to have any connection with politics, or does not engage on the side of the Government, the Administration, and the Court.[18]

Let us, therefore, my dear partner, from that affection which we feel for our lovely babes, apply ourselves, by every way we can, to the cultivation of our farm. Let frugality and industry be our virtues, if they are not of any others. And above all cares of this life, let our ardent anxiety be to mould the minds and manners of our children. Let us teach them not only to do virtuously, but to excel. To excel, they must be taught to be steady, active, and industrious.

Footnotes:

[16]In Maine, at this time and long afterwards a part of Massachusetts. Lawyers were in the habit of following the circuit in those days.

[17]All the persons named in this letter reached eminence, both professional and political, in Massachusetts.

Of John and James Sullivan much information has been furnished in the memoir of the latter by Mr. T. C. Amory.

David Sewall, a classmate of John Adams at Harvard College, was made a Judge of the Superior Court of Massachusetts, and afterwards transferred to the District Court of the United States for Maine. He died in 1825 at a very advanced age.

Theophilus Bradbury graduated at Harvard College in the year 1757. He served as a representative in the Congress of the United States in the fifth Congress, and afterwards as one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. He died in 1803.

[18]Mr. Lowell signed the address to Governor Hutchinson, in common with most of the members of the bar. But he had studied his profession in the office of Oxenbridge Thacher, and did not forget his master's principles. In the Revolutionary struggle he took his side with his countrymen, and labored faithfully for the cause. He was a delegate to the Congress of the Confederation, during the war, was most efficient in the convention which matured the Constitution of Massachusetts, and finally served with great credit as Judge of Appeals in admiralty causes before, and as the first judge of the District Court of the United States for Massachusetts, after the adoption of the Federal Constitution.