Thursday, July 12, 2007


"Mr. Adams went out swimming the other day into the Potomac, and went near to a boat which was coming down the river. Some rude blackguards were in it, who, not knowing the character of the swimmer, amused themselves with laughing at his bald head as it popped up and down in the water, and, as they drew nearer, threatened to crack open his round pate if he came nigh them. The President of the United States was, I believe, compelled to waive the point of honour and seek a more retired bathing-place."

--RW Emerson, from his journals, May 18th 1828. Emerson was only 23 at the time, visiting Alexandria, Va.