Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Tuesday. 8th.

Thursday. 10th.

Wednesday 9th. CFA Wednesday 9th. CFA
Wednesday 9th.

Morning passed very happily. To the Office but there had for the first time a little fit of dullness occasioned by old reflections which I dreaded, and which I had heretofore escaped. Engaged at the Office in writing out the Deed for Mr. Curtis which I completed, also in my Journal and in performing sundry Commissions. Paid Mr. Forbes part of my debt to him it being so large that at this time I was unable to settle the whole.1 Indeed my father having given me no assistance at all on my Wedding, I am a little pressed for the amount to pay my furniture with.2 I then went home and found much Company had been with Abby and that Edmund Quincy and Henrietta Gray were still there.3 They were making so much noise and disturbance that it did not please me. I detest boisterous people—and boisterous fun. Abby is now and then impelled into it by others, for she has herself little fondness for it and is displeased when she sees it elsewhere. I love her most dearly in her quiet moments when affection is her principal feeling. Then she is invaluable.

She has lost some rings and several other things since her being here which renders it doubtful whether we have not a thief in the House. A circumstance as unpleasant as it was unexpected. I do not know what to think and to do about it. Afternoon at the Office—read more of George’s Journal and was led to reflect upon the waste of my 8own time which must not be much longer. He always had some method in his head of a useful kind even to the last when his power to execute them was totally extinct. I am allowing all my days to run to waste unless I start to make a barrier early. I must soon reflect upon a division of time and a concentration of purpose. For if God gives me life to act, I feel as if I was not made to suffer my powers “to rust in me unus’d.” This will do to think of. On my way to inquire for Miss Carter who has been sick since Monday, I met Miss Gorham who had come from there and walked home from there with her.

Evening, a party and Supper to my wife at Mrs. P. C. Brooks. Not a great many, principally Strangers—Mrs. Otis, Mrs. Ritchie, Mrs. Gilman and others.4 I felt a little dull, and not very talkative but I got through the evening, more rapidly than I had anticipated. Returned home, tired and sleepy at twelve. I did propose declining as much as possible every civility as I feel a little anxious about my means and am desirous that they should rather be over my wants than that I should have to beg for more of either of my Fathers.


These payments to William Forbes of $60.45 for “horse hire on account” and of $67.50 on 1 Dec. 1829 for “horse hire in full” are recorded in CFA’s account book (M/CFA/9). CFA continued to manifest concern about the cost of horse hire: “as we are very economical we make our respective parents send in their carriages for us when they wish to be favoured with our agreeable company” (CFA to JA2, 21 Sept. 1829, Adams Papers).


JQA’s wedding gifts were “a Cameo ring with two hands joined” to ABA (JQA, Diary, 4 Sept.), three Stuart portraits of JA, JQA, and LCA (vol. 2:426–429) along with “the lion’s share” of three dozen small bottles and a dozen and a half magnum bottles of wine to CFA (CFA to JA2, 21 Sept., Adams Papers).

Although CFA had had James Sharp make him some furniture for the new house, the bill for which did remain unpaid for several months (vol. 2:428 and below, entry for 21 Jan. 1830), ABA’s father made her a wedding gift of most of the furniture and house furnishings, as he had done for his other daughters. These purchases for her included linens, &c. from John Fox—$142.96; china, glass, &c., from Joseph S. Hasting:—$219.82; silver, furniture, &c., from J. B. Jones—$711.41; mahogany furniture from George Archibald—$1,071.13; carpeting, mirrors, &c., from John Doggett—$700; bedding, &c., from James H. Foster—$196; and miscellaneous items to a total expenditure of $3, 798.91. In addition he made the couple a gift of $300 (Brooks, Waste Book, 6 July, 7, 14 Aug., 4, 11, 22 Sept., 17 Nov., 1 Dec. 1829).


Henrietta Gray (1811–1891) was a first cousin of ABA; see vol. 2:155, 433.


Mrs. Ritchie was accompanied by her husband. Perhaps he was William Ritchie, Boston merchant, who lived at 3 Cambridge Street (vol. 2:272), where CFA had had lodgings for a time (vol. 2:150). Mr. and Mrs. James Otis were of New York. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Everett were among the other guests (Everett, Diary, 9 Sept. 1829).