Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Sunday. 8th.

Tuesday. 10th.

Monday. 9th. CFA Monday. 9th. CFA
Monday. 9th.

Morning damp and cool. I went to the Office as usual and passed the greater part of my time in accounts. Several persons came in—Mr. French upon the subject of the Boylston Market, but he turned to Antimasonry.

I took the opportunity to ask several questions as to the proposed convention, for the purpose of assuring myself of the intentions of 166the party previously to my committing myself. This is a subject upon which I have endeavored to reflect and have also consulted with my father. I do not feel any great desire to go forward and make myself conspicuous in this business, because it would at once deprive me of the quiet which I have and do enjoy. Yet there are public duties which every citizen should perform whenever the crisis is such as he deems to call for his exertion. I certainly consider this question a deeply important one to the welfare of the Community, and if I can probe my heart to the bottom, I find nothing in it upon this occasion but a wish merely to do my duty. I am sensible that the first charge which persons so disposed will make against me, will be an ambitious desire to advance myself. The real truth is that if I had such a desire, my own judgment would lead me to court another party far more powerful in this place and disavow all connection with the Antimasonic. I believe myself to be for the present destroying all my views of political advancement by taking any such course as I propose to take. My purpose is not to enter into these matters at all any farther than is absolutely necessary for me and yet acquit myself of the duty which I think is incumbent upon every citizen. My conclusion from the whole is this, that I will attend the Convention, perform my duty, but do nothing more. I am not called upon to go out of my track as a private citizen.

In the afternoon I resumed my reading of Hutchinson and went into collateral researches in Minot, the Massachusetts State papers, Bernard’s Letters and Novanglus. Evening quiet. Edward Brooks came in and passed an hour pleasantly.