Willow Road cyanotype by Arthur Wesley Dow

John Adams’ long walk through the Neck

(Featured image: cyanotype by Arthur Wesley Dow)

John Adams visited Ipswich frequently in his capacity as a lawyer, and as the Boston representative to the colonial legislature from 1770 to 1774. In June, 1774, Adams was one of his way back to Ipswich, and pondering the movement to establish a Continental Congress in response to the British government’s overbearance. On the afternoon of June 25, 1774, Adams made an entry in his diary about his walk through Ipswich, with forebodings about the future:

Woodcut of John Adams
John Adams

June 19. “Tuesday morning. Rambled with Kent round Landlord Treadwell’s pastures, to see how our horses fared. We found them in the grass up to their eyes;—excellent pastures. This hill, on which stand the meeting-house and court-house, is a fine elevation, and we have here a fine air, and the pleasant prospect of the winding river at the foot of the hill.”

June 25, Saturday. “Since the Court adjourned without day, this afternoon, I have taken a long walk through the Neck, as they call it, a fine tract of land in a general field. Corn, rye, grass, interspersed in great perfection this fine season.

I wander alone and ponder. I muse, I mope, I ruminate. I am often in reveries and brown studies. The objects before me are too grand and multifarious for my comprehension. We have not men fit for the times. We are deficient in genius, in education, in travel, in fortune, in every thing.

I feel unutterable anxiety. God grant us wisdom and fortitude! Should the opposition be suppressed, should this country submit, what infamy and ruin! God forbid. Death in any form is less terrible!”

2 thoughts on “John Adams’ long walk through the Neck”

  1. John Adams is perhaps the most interesting historical figure of his time period. I enjoyed reading his thoughts on Ipswich during his visits.
    Where were those horses grazing? On present-day Town Hill?

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