Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Sunday. 15th.

Tuesday. 17th.

Monday. 16th. CFA Monday. 16th. CFA
Monday. 16th.

Morning cloudy. I went to the Office where I received a letter from my father and the Address to the People which accompanied it.1 In consequence of it, I called upon Mr. Hallett and had a long conversation with him at my Office—Remonstrating in the first place about the Bank and afterwards conversing upon the matter of the Address. I had read this carefully over twice, and though I did not show it to him, yet I brought forward it’s main features for discussion. He remonstrated against two parts, and I think reasonably, the recommendation of a plurality in Congressional elections, and the opinion in favour of Davis. He sat three hours. I returned home, and in the afternoon wrote a letter in reply urgently against these two points with half a dozen other trifling ones.2 The writing and copying took my whole time without finishing. Went to Mr. Frothingham’s to spend an hour, as Sidney Brooks and his Wife were there from New York to spend a day or two. Returned at ten. Dr. Stevenson there.

230 1.

JQA to CFA, 11 Dec. (Adams Papers). The accompanying Address is missing. However, there is in the Adams Papers, filed under date of 1 Jan. 1834 (Microfilms, Reel No. 498), JQA’s retained copy (31 p.) of that Address. On it he has entered changes, including alterations which CFA suggested in his letter referred to in the note following, and other corrections which JA2 had suggested. In a letter to CFA of 24 Dec., received on the 27th (see note there), JQA instructed him to enter all corrections on the copy JQA had sent earlier and turn the corrected MS over to the Advocate for printing. Should the Advocate decline to run it, he wished to have it submitted to the Daily Advertiser, and if declined there, to have it published as a pamphlet. The Boston Daily Advocate did carry the Address on 10 Jan. 1834 (p. 2, col. 1— p. 3, col. 3) and appended to it JQA’s letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, dated 21 Dec., on which see below, entries for 27 Dec. and 1 Jan., and accompanying notes. The Address was later printed in JQA, Letters on the Masonic Institution, Boston, 1847, p. 219–274. A draft-fragment (11 p.) filed in the Adams Papers with JQA’s retained copy of the Address seems to be an earlier and incomplete version.


To JQA, 16 Dec. (Adams Papers). CFA concentrates on JQA’s statements of his preferences which he had incorporated in the draft of his Address announcing his withdrawal. These statements, on some counts gratuitous, were that in his judgment, and he hoped in that of his supporters (i.e. the Antimasons), John Davis, who had won a plurality in the first canvass, should be elected; and further that the election laws should be changed to permit election by a plurality rather than by a majority of the votes cast. On the inclusion of these issues, CFA sided with Hallett and the antimasonic committee for which he spoke. CFA’s other objections to the draft related to JQA’s usual pithiness and tactlessness in phraseology.