Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Friday. 17th.

Sunday. 19th.

Saturday. 18th. CFA Saturday. 18th. CFA
Saturday. 18th.

Morning cloudy. I went to town accompanied by my Child’s Nurse who went in for the day. She being somewhat ponderous retarded my progress a little. Morning consumed very much as usual. I purchased and began to read the exposition of the Committee of the Rhode Island Legislature who investigated the business of Masonry and published a Report, the Copy Right of which was secured according to law.1 A very extraordinary proceeding. I did not finish much of it. Returned to Medford to dinner.

Mr. and Mrs. Gorham Brooks dined here. Nothing of particular consequence occurred. I continued reading Stapleton’s life of Canning, especially in the most interesting period of his life, the close. The account of the Portuguese War — “I called a new World into existence, to redress the balance of the Old.” Somewhat of the bravado style. Nevertheless Canning deserves some consideration for his support of liberal opinions at a time when a formidable combination existed against them. He was ambitious, but that surely is not a Crime if directed to an honest purpose with honest means.

1.

Although there were a number of pamphlet publications purporting to be records of the legislative investigation in Rhode Island in 1831–1832, CFA seems to have been reading the Report of the Committee Appointed by the General Assembly of Rhode Island to Investigate the Charges against Freemasonry & Masons ... Together with All the Official Documents and Testimony Relating to the Subject, Providence, 1832. This account, the fullest of those published, consisted of the committee report of 72 pages and an appendix of 148 pages containing documents and testimony.