Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Thursday. 10th.

Saturday 12th.

Friday. 11th. CFA Friday. 11th. CFA
Friday. 11th.

Morning after a deal of trouble at home, to the Office. One of the troubles of Housekeeping—My Wife not being accustomed to keeping her things locked, most unluckily left her Jewels exposed and the consequence has been that she has lost several things. Suspicion rested upon the Servants, and I thought it necessary in consequence to examine them all. I went through the form of searching all their things without any idea of finding any thing, for it would be absurd to 11suppose that Servants would not make away with things immediately that suspicion rested in the least upon them. This was as disagreeable a thing for a little affair of life as any I ever went through. I can fix suspicion upon nobody, but it is very certain that the things are missing.1

At the Office, I wrote my Journal, and a letter to Mrs. Longhurst.2 We keep up a brisk correspondence by which I am in hopes of receiving her rent in time. But she is slow, though not quite so impudent as formerly. This and a few Commissions took me all the morning and I returned to dine. My spirits were rather depressed, as I was actually suffering from my old trouble.3 I am a singularly fated man. The Afternoon was passed at home with the exception of a walk to the Office of the Daily Advertiser in order to put in an Advertisement for the lost rings. This done I returned and found my Furniture returned home. I am much pleased with it, and hope now soon to enter into a new system of life. The past week has been a kind of delirium which must soon pass off and leave us sober and quiet. I hope shortly to be able to start well in what I have undertaken, although I confess that at this moment of time, I am a little in a maze, which ought not to last very long.

The Evening came and with it, the recollection that we had been invited to a party at Mrs. Quincy’s at Cambridge. As it was made for us, I could not decline the civility although we felt it to be irksome. We accordingly dressed and rode to Cambridge with Blake and Henrietta Gray. It was the first time that I had put my foot into that house for years. My old prejudices were so powerful that while my situation in life was doubtful I could not bring my pride to submit to the disagreeable style of the family.4 But now at least, I feel free from any scruples and do not therefore make such resistance to patronage. We reached there at nine and found quite a collection of Cambridge people. I saw several of them and made my bow in the old way. How changed since I stood in the same room four years since. Incidents have rolled over me wonderful to think of and singular to relate. Let me pour out my soul to God in gratitude for his mercies and in the earnest and humble prayer that he will support me in prosperity as he has in adversity for they are equally hard to bear. Returned to town by eleven.


Since the theft took place on 7 Sept. the likelihood is that it was during or just preceding the time ABA “received her company.” On the 9th three rings, along with other things apparently of less value, were missed. One was a pearl ring, the second had three garnets set with pearl, and the third was the “Cameo ring with two hands joined” which JQA had given his daughter-in-12law on the preceding Friday. See above, entry for 9 Sept.; Boston Daily Advertiser, 12–19 Sept. 1829, p. 2, col. 5.


To Mrs. M. B. Longhurst (LbC, Adams Papers); see also vol. 2:415, 430.


CFA had long been subject to headaches and digestive disorders, minor illnesses usually accompanied by melancholy; these are frequently mentioned in his early diaries.


Josiah Quincy (1772–1864), president of Harvard since Jan. 1829, and Mrs. Quincy, the former Eliza Susan Morton (1773–1850) (vol. 1:150, 2:339; Adams Genealogy), were living in Wadsworth House, which still stands in Harvard Yard. It would appear that CFA by “that house” is referring not to the home of Harvard’s presidents, but rather to the Quincy household. The last time that CFA had noted in his diary that he had been to the Quincy’s was on 4 Sept. 1824 in Boston. He then recorded that the evening had been a pleasant one despite the airs of Mrs. Quincy and her daughter Susan (vol. 1:311–312).