Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Saturday 5th.

Monday 7th.

Sunday 6th. CFA Sunday 6th. CFA
Sunday 6th.

I was at home during the whole of the day. Abby would not go out to Meeting and I did not feel as if I could leave her alone. How we passed our day it is impossible for me to tell but I can truly say it was to me unmingled happiness or the intoxication of pleasure. I had formed moderate expectations only and they have been entirely exceeded—And Abby’s conduct is perfectly delightful. The gentleness, and moderation she has displayed, with the attention to me have made 4her far more dear than ever to me and have given me moments of felicity which could not be improved. Sidney and his Wife,1 and Chardon came in and Julia Gorham in the course of the day and they laughed and made amusement in plenty,2 and in the evening Mr. William Emerson called to see his old pupil.3 I do not much like any of the Emerson family without knowing any reason for positively disliking them, excepting perhaps hearing from Abby’s own lips that one of them had been once a favoured friend though at a time when she was so young as to be unable to judge. This might have been a reason, had I not been able to trace the dislike earlier than my acquaintance with her. Poor Edward has suffered so much subsequently however that I feel pity for him.4 And I have been a successfull rival with too many advantages not to cause in him some regrets at the inequalities of life. I am sorry for I do not feel disposed to boast of advantages which are not my own but resulting from accident. I am full of gratitude for every thing.

1.

ABA’s brother, Sidney Brooks (1799–1878) and his wife, the former Frances Dehon, had come for the wedding from New York where he was a partner in the firm of Davis & Brooks, importers. See vol. 2:103, 165, 197–199; Adams Genealogy; Brooks, Waste Book, 17 Jan. 1824, 19 Aug. 1826, 8 March 1828.

2.

P. C. Brooks Jr. (“Chardon”) (1798–1880), another brother of ABA, was a partner in the firm of Sargent & Brooks, merchants, of 49 Central Wharf ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830); see vol. 2:149 and Adams Genealogy.

3.

William Emerson (b. 1801), Harvard 1818, was the oldest of the three sons of Rev. William Emerson, minister of the First Church until his death in 1814. He was apparently the “Mr. Emerson” to whom Peter C. Brooks made payments in 1820 for “Abby’s schooling” (Waste Book, 3 May, 25 Sept., 16 Nov. 1820). However, his younger brother, Ralph Waldo Emerson (b. 1803), Harvard 1821, was also one of her teachers, for on 29 Dec. 1824 Brooks recorded payment of $8 for a set of Cowper “presented by ‘Miss Abby’ to her instructor Mr. Ralph W. Emerson” (same).

4.

On Edward Bliss Emerson (1805–1834), Harvard 1824, formerly a fellow law student of CFA’s in Daniel Webster’s office, see vol. 1:206, 2:242, 254.