The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Keeping Up With the Adamses

Just in case you haven't been checking in regularly with John Quincy Adams' Twitter feed ( I thought I'd provide a brief update on their progress after about a month and a half at sea (they departed from Charlestown, MA, you'll remember, on 5 August 1809).

As of today, 18 September, the European mainland has come into view; the coast of Norway was sighted at around 5 a.m., and the ship's position at noon is recorded as 57 43' latitude, 7 15' longitude (you can see that on the JQA tracking map here).

Adams continues to read at a prodigious pace; he's now completed five volumes of Plutarch's Lives, as well as a good portion of Massillon's sermons. Two hundred years ago today he began reading Voyage d'Anacharsis. You can follow along with JQA's reading (and many of his Twitter follows are doing so) with the monthly blog posts for August and September. Perhaps a JQA reading club is in order?

This is also a useful time to offer a reminder that JQA's long diary provides many more details about each day's events. You can view manuscript images of the diary via the MHS website (today's is here), as well as a partial transcription of the long diary via Charles Francis Adams' edition of his father's works (today's entry is here).

Hard as it is to believe, they're still more than a month away from their ultimate destination, and the worst part of the trip is still to come. Stay tuned!

permalink | Published: Friday, 18 September, 2009, 1:49 PM


Commenting has closed for this post. Thank you for participating.