Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Monday. 14th.

Wednesday 16th.

Tuesday 15th. CFA Tuesday 15th. CFA
Tuesday 15th.

Morning at the Office. My time much taken up without being well able to ascertain how. I sat down and wrote upon the subject of the Bank of the United States. My ideas flow too fast. The great point with me now is to methodize, to arrange and above all, to condense. I wanted information as to facts and went to see Mr. Davis and ask him whether he still had in his possession the Copy of the works of Alexander Hamilton in order to see his report on the Bank.1 I did not find that but he gave me a Manuscript of Hamilton’s Opinion given to General Washington, in opposition to those of Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Randolph,2 which I read with great interest. It takes what seems to me a very strong view of the question. After all, it is one of those subjects furnished by the Constitution which will always admit of two sides and of consequent division in public opinion. I was obliged to pay attention to other things so that I could not devote my whole morning to it, but I became so interested as to pursue the subject in the afternoon, and to write several pages of matter which may become useful hereafter. My only difficulty is that I have too many Irons in the Fire. Patience and Coolness.

I went to see Mr. Tarbell understanding he had called. I found him and he gave me Instructions to pursue the two Writs on Mr. Gilman’s Account which I propose to do.3 I read none of my Greek today, and on the whole passed the time in a silly fit of enthusiasm.

The Evening came, and with it the regular time for the weekly Meeting of the Family which was this Evening at Chardon’s. I went and passed the time much as usual. A little stupid or so, but that is always the case. I have not talent for indiscriminate Conversation and I know so little of Boston people that I cannot talk of them. This makes me feel terribly stiff. Will the feeling ever cease. I thought it would with my Marriage.


An edition of the Works of Hamilton in 3 vols. had been published at New York in 1810. The “Report on a National Bank” [1790] is at 1:59–110.


That is, Hamilton’s communication to Washington, 23 Feb. 1791, submitting his “Opinion on the Constitutionality of an Act to Establish a Bank” along with “the reasons which have induced him to entertain a different opinion” from that of the Secretary of State and Attorney General (Hamilton, Papers, ed. Syrett, 106 8:62–134). When CFA located a copy of Hamilton’s Works two days later at the Boston Athenaeum, he found that the document had also been printed (1:111–155), along with the “Report.”


See below, entry for 21 Jan. 1830.