Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Thursday. 28th.

Saturday. 2nd.

March. 1833 Friday. 1st. CFA March. 1833 Friday. 1st. CFA
March. 1833 Friday. 1st.

Heavy snow for the first Spring day. I went to the Office and was pretty well occupied all the morning. Had a call from Mr. George W. Pratt who came to pay a sum of money on Acct. of a final Dividend of Bird & Savage’s Estate in London. I received and deposited it although it belongs to the Estate of my Grandfather.1 Edward Blake also paid a short visit to talk about the passage of Mr. Clay’s bill. One of the singular manoeuvres that at times occur in public bodies has driven it through both houses. This Country has never witnessed a baser dereliction of principle.2 I can take to myself the credit of having foreseen it. Read a little of Gouverneur Morris and omitted my walk on account of the weather. Afternoon, Anquetil, and Voltaire. I took some time to write to my father whose engagements will cease before my letter reaches him.3 Evening quiet at home. Read a little of Madame de Genlis’ “Parvenus” and Mrs. Child’s Mother’s book, which is a good practical view of education.4

1.

The failure of the London banking house of Bird, Savage, & Bird in 1803 had imposed severe financial strain at the time upon both JA, whose funds were temporarily on deposit there, and JQA, whose decision it had been to place them there. Receipt of the dividend noted here constituted repayment in full of the debt which had been liquidated in installments during the intervening years (JQA, Memoirs , 1:262–264).

2.

The maneuvering by which the compromise effected in the tariff bill by Clay was adopted in House and Senate is deplored in an editorial in the Columbian Centinel, 1 March, p. 2, col. 4.

3.

LbC in Adams Papers.

4.

Both Les Parvenus by Stéphanie Félicité Ducrest de St. Aubin, Comtesse de Genlis, and the Mother’s Book by Lydia Maria Child were borrowed, as were several others of the works CFA was currently reading, from the Athenaeum.