Morning clear and cool. After my usual quantity of Virgil I went to the Office and was occupied there in writing and Accounts. Called to see Mr. Hallett at the Advocate Office and had some conversation with him respecting political Affairs. I communicated to him my father’s plan, and he said the party had hesitated about Shaw’s nomination already. He intimated that they wished John Welles to take it. He it seems is trying to resist the current of Boston Masonic Gentry.1 I suggested the circulation of scattering votes for the former person as Governor where the Antimasonic party do not take much. Mr. John Bailey whom I met there informed me of my being appointed Chairman of a Committee at the late Convention, of which fact I knew nothing until this moment. It is not an unimportant duty either, the draughting a Memorial for the next Legislature.2
Took my walk as usual. Afternoon, read over Bacon’s colors of good and evil. I wish I could make myself master of this little piece. Of what wonderful use it might be in argument. Copied a letter to Governor Lincoln, from my father. It seems likely that he is dealing in a little of the littleness that is going about.3 After all, what does the whole thing amount to? A place of Governor in a State containing 600,000 persons with a Council controlling every act. Evening, at home, working upon my Article in which I made considerable progress. This must be got out of the way.
Henry Shaw of Lanesboro and John Welles of Boston (vol. 1:333–334) were the latest entries in the continuing search by the Antimasons for a candidate for lieut. governor who could be agreed upon and who would accept; see above, entry for 13 Sept., note, and JQA, Diary, 10 October.
A memorial asking that there be instituted an examination into the nature of the masonic institution in Massachusetts (JQA, Diary, 14 Oct.).
To quiet the raging controversy over the authenticity of JQA’s letter to John Brazer Davis (above, entry for 3 Oct.), JQA had urged upon Josiah Quincy that he ask Gov. Lincoln to verify receipt of JQA’s letter to him supporting Davis’ appointment as county attorney (JQA to Josiah Quincy, 2 Oct., MHi: Quincy Autograph Coll.). Upon the Governor’s refusal to Quincy to be drawn in, JQA himself requested Lincoln to say whether he had received the letter, at what date, and if still in his possession to return it or a copy of it to JQA (JQA to Levi Lincoln, 10 Oct., MHi:Levi Lincoln Papers).