Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Sunday. 11th.

Tuesday. 13th.

Monday. 12th. CFA Monday. 12th. CFA
Monday. 12th.

Miss Oliver, the Tenant of the House in Hancock Street called to pay me her rent for one quarter before I had left the House this morning. This with the various other sums of money I had received on Saturday made a considerable amount which I did not know what to 43do with as I could not deposit it in the Bank—A portion of it being money which the Bank will not take.1 I was on that Account compelled to go round and pay Bills of my Fathers, my brother’s Estate and my own in order to get rid of it. This and the arrangement of my Accounts consequent upon it occupied a very considerable part of my morning. But I accomplished much, for I made great progress toward a final settlement of the affairs of George which have been so long delaying upon my hands. My Money Accounts are now a little complicated for I have three different tracks to keep of money received and expended, and in paying small bills I draw from what I have in my pocket which makes the transfer from the several deposits difficult, to preserve precisely correct. I made a settlement with Milliard and Co. which is final and not unfavourable. This is the last of a series of dreadfully heavy bills which my poor brother inflicted upon himself at that Store and to them may be traced partially his state of mind in his later days.2

The afternoon was passed partly at the Office and partly at the House but I can recollect little of any consequence which happened. The evening went with more use and pleasure. The first part of it was passed in reading to Abby Scott’s Life of Fielding which was tolerably interesting, the second was more jovial but not quite so agreeable to my own taste. Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham came in with Mr. and Mrs. Everett and passed the evening pleasantly enough. Now and then a sip of some warm Whiskey Punch served to enliven us and to chase away care. They left us shortly after ten o’clock to our meditations, and I then read a Chapter of La Harpe upon the Ancient Comedy of the Romans, Plautus and Terence.


JQA’s account was in the United States Branch Bank Boston (M/CFA/3). It was the policy of the Bank of the United States during the presidency of Nicholas Biddle, 1823–1833, to refuse to accept state bank notes not redeemable in specie.


The booksellers, Hilliard, Gray & Co., were paid $65 (M/CFA/3). It was, perhaps, with thoughts similar to those of CFA, that JQA, in contemplating his father’s and his own lifelong passion for books and their acquisition, reflected that collecting “must be associated with vigorous economy, with punctual accountability, and with judicious and untiring industry” (Diary, 17 Oct. 1829).