Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Tuesday. 18th.

Thursday. 20th.

Wednesday. 19th. CFA Wednesday. 19th. CFA
Wednesday. 19th.

I was up early and after a silent breakfast went up to take my leave of my Mother. This affected me very much, and she opened some sores which I had laboured hard to keep covered from her. I had so very short a time to speak of them that perhaps the bitterness which I could not entirely suppress was the only pain I gave her. God forgive me for doing that.

My father and I parted coldly and silently—He putting into my hands a letter of instructions to be followed upon my return to Boston.1 To the remainder of the family my departure was a relief. I did not feel easy until I was rolling rapidly in the Stage along Pennsylvania Avenue, and a fellow passenger whom we took in by his active conversation roused me to think of other things. He proved to be Col. A. P. Hayne of Carolina—A very gentlemanly man just returned from his five years travels in Europe. He had been under obligation to my father for a letter to the Duke of Sussex which procured him a dinner,2 and being naturally talkative he spent much time in the discussion of 18topics which civility required me to listen to. Nor was the conversation unprofitable.

We arrived at Baltimore just before two, and I risked going directly to Gorham Brooks’. Seldom as I play these capers, it would have been far better if I had done so once less. For here was an embarras. I lost my dinner at Barnum’s. And lo! Gorham and his Wife were to dine out. The consequence was that they were at the trouble of procuring and cooking me a dinner much to my discomfiture. In such cases the best way is to get over it as soon as possible and determine not to be caught so again. As they were not to dine until late I sat there conversing with Gorham until four o’clock when I left them.

The remainder of the afternoon was passed in visiting the Washington Monument—Quite a handsome thing, though as yet very much in the fields. I was foolish enough to take a lantern and ascend the two hundred and thirty odd steps to the top from which there is a pretty view but one which does not pay the trouble of winding the Corkscrew stair. On the top there is a statue of Washington by Causici which does not strike me as dignified or graceful. It is not possible to see the original but a cast of reduced dimensions and consequently more agreeable proportions is placed at the door. Returned to Barnum’s. Took a silent Supper and after looking over the Newspapers retired early to bed.


To CFA, 18 Nov. (Adams Papers). For the instructions, see below, 25 November.


The LbC of JQA’s letter of 14 April 1834 to his old friend the Duke of Sussex introducing Col. Hayne, brother of the Governor of South Carolina, is in the Adams Papers.