Home built by Theophilus Parsons in 1789 on the corner of Green and Harris Streets. Courtesy of Joe Callahan. From Clipper Heritage Trail
On the 8th of December J. Q. Adams returned to Newburyport, resuming his studies in the office of Mr. Parsons. His diary was now reduced to daily memoranda of a single line each, and so continued until the following September (1789). The winter of 1788-1789 was passed partly at Newburyport and partly at Braintree, reading, riding, skating, and "hunting for partridges and quails," with occasional social entertainments. Among the law books now read, he noted Barrington's "Observations on the Statutes " and Buller's "Nisi Prius." Picture from John Q Adams by request
He became also intimate with the family of Mr. Moses Frazier, of Newburyport, one of whose daughters, Mary, especially attracted him. Rumors of a marriage engagement were in circulation; and, years afterwards, there appeared in a Newburyport paper a highly colored account of the incident, in which Mr. Adams, then ex-President and a man of seventy, was made to declare "that in all which constitutes genuine beauty, loveliness, personal accomplishments, intellectual endowments and perfect purity of life and heart, Miss Mary Frazier excelled " anything he had ever known of " the most attractive and recognized beautiful among the female sex in Europe and America." And he declared that he "loved her then," and loved "her memory " still. check out "All my hopes of future happiness center on that girl."
The writer of this over-colored and extremely apocryphal narrative then went on to add that J. Q. Adams acknowledged to him an engagement with Miss Frazier, but on the understanding " that should either see cause to change their mind they were left free to do so. The direct cause of the breaking off of the engagement [was] because of the very proper interference and advice of Miss Frazier's family and friends. They charged that Mr. Adams was quite young [twenty-two], without a profession, and with no very good prospects as to the future," etc. And, Mr. Adams is alleged to have added, "In this advice they were about right, for I then certainly had no very flattering prospects, near or remote." The writer then asserted that the tradition in Newburyport was that Miss Frazier remained unmarried until after the news reached her of the marriage of Mr. Adams, in London, in 1797, seven years later.
Concerning this episode, Mr. Adams at the time wrote to his mother: "But upon one subject, on which from a passage in your letter I am led to suppose you are under some apprehensions on my account, I think I can safely assure you they may be quieted. Tou may rest assured, my dear Madam, that I am as resolutely determined never to connect a woman to desperate fortunes, as I am never to be indebted to a woman for wealth. The same spirit, I presume, will operate equally to prevent either of these cases, and you shall never be requested for your consent to a connection of mine, until I am able to support that connection with honor and independence." On the 9th of August, 1789, his friend and fellow student, William Amory, was married to Lucy Fletcher. Meanwhile his own health seems to have been in great degree restored, for he notes numerous meetings of the "club" in which he participated, sociable evenings, "noisy walks" and serenades "till three in the morning." One day they indulge in "an after dinner dance, company small but agreeable"; and, the next, he sees "the ladies' scheme for a sail fall through." Altogether, the student life at Newburyport seems not to have been devoid of attractions. Finally, after one of many evenings passed at Mr. Frazier's, the more detailed diary reopens.]
Recollections of Newburyport by James Morss, "Newburyport Herald," June 30, 1864. [John Q. Adams; Mr.Adams Newburyport]
Tuesday, January 10, 1854 Cayuga Chief (Auburn, NY) Volume: 6
An entry from his journal early on: June 15 1787:
Charles went to Boston this morning, and return'd at night. After prayers I went with Cranch to Mr. Williams's. We walk'd with the young Ladies. Miss Frazier from Boston was of the party: she appears sensible and agreeable. We went and viewed Mr. Brattle's gardens, and ponds and other conveniences, which his ingenuity has invented for the gratification of his sensuality. This man, who enjoys an handsome estate has pass'd his whole life in studying how to live; not in a moral but in a physical sense. The ladies were disappointed when they found he had very few flowers in his garden, but it was observ'd that he was so much engaged in the service of his palate, that he could have no leisure to give his attention to any one sense in particular. Some pages from (1962)
John Quicy Adams Date: Tuesday, September 20, 1864
Paper: Boston Daily Advertiser (Boston, MA) Volume: 104 Issue: 68 Page: 2
In a letter written August 1794 J Q A expressed gratitude the he escaped, "a web in which my own heedless passion had precipitated me." However, he adds his "lingering fondness" and forgives any wrongs Madame Frazier, "who never shared his sentiments" and may have done during his time of a heart throb. See
Mary Frazier married Daniel Sargent noted in Reminiscences of Lucius Manlius Sargent: with an appendix containing a genealogy of his family, and other matters.
Daniel Sargent (Daniel, Epes, William, William1), b. June 15, 1764; d. in his mansion-house, Mt. Vernon Street, Boston, April 2, 1842, aged 78; m. Mary Frazier, of Newburyport, Dec. 4, 1802—a lady of beauty and intellect. She d. July 28, 1804, at Wrentham. having been at Newport for her health. The issue of this marriage was Maria Osborne, b. Dec. 22, 1803, d. March 7, 1835; and Daniel Sargent, b. Nov. 9, 1825. She m. Thomas B. Curtis, merchant, of Boston, Dec. 8, 1824. They had two children: Daniel Sargent, b. Nov. 9, 1825, and Mary Frazier, born March 5, 1827.
Mr. D. Sargent was a merchant. His wife died July 28, 1804—a pleasing and beautiful woman, to whom he was much attached; and he remained a widower thirty-eight years, to Ins death. He devoted himself to the supsort of her mother and two sisters, and after his father's death, took care of his own mother. He was State Treasurer 1817-1822—live years. Much respected for his virtues and piety.
- Jack Garvey Column Newburyport News
- The Adams Papers
- John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life By Paul C. Nagel
- John Q Adams
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