Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Friday. 13th.

Sunday. 15th.

Saturday. 14th. CFA Saturday. 14th. CFA
Saturday. 14th.

Fine morning though cool. I went to the Office and passed most of my time there, but could not resist going to the Athenaeum for an hour. The Masonic newspapers are out very violently against the nominations.1 This is no more than was to be expected and will do no great injury. But what the result of all these things is to be, remains as yet much in the dark. Judge Hall called but I felt a little head-achy from indigestion and rather irritable so that I wished his dissertation upon the mullein poultice indefinitely postponed. Read some of Bradford’s History which is most terribly dull. I fear I shall fail in my undertaking from nausea at the materials at which I am to work.

My head being still a little troublesome I thought I would ride it away so directly after dinner I started for Quincy. Passed my mother on the road, who was coming in to see my Wife, and consequently missed her, but found my father and the remainder of the family somewhat better. Conversed with him upon the events of the day, and found him disposed if possible still to get rid of his threatened honor. He says that if the National Republican party will pitch upon any person who is satisfactory to the Antimasons he will yet withdraw. There are many obstacles to this proceeding. He seems still however to cling to public life on a different stage. So long as this feeling lasts, it is a matter of perfect indifference to me where his lot is cast. The great objection still exists. Took tea and returned to town but it was quite late first. My head was cured by the remedy.

1.

A collection of such editorials from the State’s newspapers is carried in the Columbian Centinel, 20 Sept., p. 2, col. 3. The Centinel’s own editorial blast was reserved to its issue of 25 Sept., p. 2, when in a lead editorial occupying almost the entire first column, JQA’s whole political career is reviewed to show that “an inordinate thirst for office and power predominates in him, over every other principle.” Representative of an even more unfriendly current attitude is one of a series of letters on “Political Parties” by Thomas Filmer of Salem (Columbian171 Centinel, 30 Sept., p. 1, col. 5) in which of the antimasonic party he writes: “Men who seek distinction, join such parties, and foment their bad feelings in hope of profiting themselves. Thus Mr. Adams.... But Mr. Adams having no popular qualities, and being naturally a selfish and repulsive man, shows ... the truth, that his movements are only one more form of the self-advancement, which has marked his whole life. Such men are the pests of republics.”