Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Tuesday. 15th.

Thursday. 17th.

Wednesday. 16th. CFA Wednesday. 16th. CFA
Wednesday. 16th.

A very warm day with light showers morning and evening. I was engaged to go to town, but as I did not know where to dine, and had some business in Quincy, I concluded to remain there until the afternoon.

Walked up to Mrs. Adams to settle with her as usual for the Quarter and found Louisa C. Smith and John Quincy with her. After some miscellaneous conversation she went into her private affairs more particularly connected with her unmarried daughter which were painful enough for me to hear and in which I sympathized with her more than has been customary with me in her troubles.1 I could advise to nothing however. So much of my time was consumed there that I only had leisure to read the beginning of Goethe’s Werter.2 After dinner, I started on my return to Medford which I reached in due season and found Mr. Brooks and my Wife tired out with their day spent in the Theological Commencement at Cambridge.3


“Elizabeth C. Adams has just returned from New Orleans and dismissed her admirer Mr. Gourgas whose conduct has been exceedingly offensive to her mother and whose reputation runs low.... Of all misfortunes that can befall a woman I can scarce conceive of one more terrible than that of being the wife of an intemperate man” (JQA to LCA, 24 July; see also LCA to Mrs. JA2, 13 Aug.; both in Adams Papers).


At MQA is JQA’s set of Goethe’s earlier works: Schriften, 8 vols., Leipzig, 1787–1790. Die Leiden des jungen Werthers is in vol. 1.


Nathaniel Hall, Mr. Brooks’ nephew, was in the graduating class at the Divinity School ( Harvard Quinquennial Cat. ).