Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Monday. 15th.

Wednesday. 17th.

Tuesday. 16th. CFA Tuesday. 16th. CFA
Tuesday. 16th.

Fine day and as cool as need be. I rode to town by way of the Neck for the purpose of seeing the improvements going on there. Roxbury is receiving a great deal of the surplus population of the Capital and bids fair itself to become quite a City. The peculiar situation of Boston insulated as it is, prevents the possibility of an indefinite increase, and the progress of the building mania has already taken up most of the vacant spots. The price of land is so enormous that I do not wonder so many people prefer to avoid it. An admirable house might be built for the money that a small one costs with the land in the centre of the City. Boston has unquestionably been under an impulse within a few years which makes one wonder at the remembrance of what it was.

My morning was not very usefully spent. I hardly know what I did with it, excepting to pay a few bills and make up old accounts. Stopped in at a second hand book store where I purchased a nice copy of Grahame’s History of the United States.1 I also went in to see the collection of Pictures belonging to the late President Jefferson, which are poor enough in all conscience.2

Home. My Mother was quite ill all day but more particularly in the Afternoon. Dr. Holbrook came over and seemed to comfort her more by his mildness of manner than by his medicines.3 I read an Ode or two of Horace and some of St. John. Quiet evening.


CFA’s copy of the 1827 edn. of James Grahame’s History is in MQA. He had earlier given careful study to the work and had published an essay-review of it (vol. 3:27, 204, 213, 226).


The paintings from Thomas Jefferson’s collection were on exhibition at Chester Harding’s Gallery on School Street and were to be auctioned on 19 July. They were said to have been acquired by Jefferson in Paris with the assistance of John Trumbull, then living there (Columbian Centinel, 13 July, p. 3, col. 1). The titlepage of the catalogue of the collection issued before the auction is reproduced in the present volume; see also p. xi–xiii, above.


On Dr. Amos Holbrook, see vol. 3:287.