Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Sunday. 17th.

Tuesday. 19th.

Monday. 18th. CFA Monday. 18th. CFA
Monday. 18th.

I went to the Office this morning but had scarcely got there before I perceived I had left my keys with the child to play with. The consequence was that I could do nothing. I therefore went down to the Althenaeum to read the Newspapers and try to make up an opinion upon the speech and bill of Mr. Clay. On reflection, I think the speech is worse than the other. It is unstatesmanlike, and unsound. It gives no views that are either just or generous. It stamps the man.

I read or rather skimmed Henry Lee’s publication in answer to the Memoirs of Jefferson. It falls into the very vice it blames. It is abusive to Jefferson, my grandfather and father, and lauds Hamilton. Mr. Lee has erred extremely. He might have made a strong case against his adversary if he had only been careful to avoid that kind of crimination which shows a partisan. His hostility to my father is excessive, considering that the latter has generally thought rather favourably of him. His moral character is so bad that no little pains ought to be taken by him to avoid unnecessarily aspersing those of others.1

Walk, and dined with Gorham Brooks at the Tremont House. Mr. Brooks, Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham and Abby. His wine is good. I returned home for half an hour which was wasted, and went down again to tea and the Theatre. Masaniello again. It was well done, home late. Read the World.


Major Henry Lee of Virginia, for whom JQA entertained respect as a writer and whom he had appointed early in his Administration to a minor position in the Post Office Department, had while in that office been engaged in political writing for Calhoun. Upon resigning in 1826, Lee became a pamphleteer and newspaper propagandist for Jackson. Jackson had rewarded him with an interim appointment as consul general at Algiers but when his name was pre-33sented in the Senate, confirmation was denied on grounds of his profligacy and personal morals. His Observations on the Writings of Thomas Jefferson, N.Y., 1832, was the second book in which he undertook to defend his father, “Lighthorse Harry” Lee, from what he judged to be unwarranted attacks. JQA, Memoirs , 7:180–182; 9:346–347; DAB .