FEATURES

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS' DIARY
Eleazar Parmly 1797-1874
Eleazar, Jehiel, Stephen, Stephen, John, John

Sprinkled in among his daily entries that recorded the Bible verses he had read, the timings of his morning walks to the Capitol and back, the weather reports, and notes on meetings with members of his Cabinet and the Congress, you'll find President John Quincy Adams, left, met several times with Dr. Eleazar Parmly. The pioneering dentist called at the White House to introduce himself to the nation's sixth president -- in those days just about anyone who wanted to could drop in on the chief executive.

Adams met with Eleazar in November, 1826, as recorded in Diary No. 37, pp. 113 and 115. Below are the transcripts; you can follow the links to the Massachusetts Historical Society's digital images of the pages.

Monday, Nov. 13, 1826

... Dr. Parmely presented himself as a dentist and I took the opportunity to have a decayed tooth drawn. He also scaled off the tartar which has been for years collecting upon my lower front teeth, and urged the drawing of another--the consideration of which I postponed till tomorrow. ...

Tuesday, Nov. 14, 1826

... Dr. Parmely came and completed his operations upon my teeth. He declined taking pay, but asked me for a recommendation. He is going soon to Charleston, S.C., and will call again tomorrow. ...

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 1826

... Dr. Parmely came to introduce his brother [probably Dr. Levi Spear Parmly, 1790-1859, who settled in New Orleans in 1822], gave me a bit of dentifrice and took leave; going on the steamboat to Norfolk [Va.] on his way to Charleston, S.C. ...