Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Monday. 19th.

Wednesday. 21st.

Tuesday. 20th. CFA Tuesday. 20th. CFA
Tuesday. 20th.

Morning at the Office. A man named Brown called upon me about this eternal business of George’s, and I was obliged to go over the same business with him that I did with Dr. Storer and satisfied him as little. I then went down to the State Bank and found that all the Directors had been elected yesterday with the exception of Mr. Henshaw,1 who upon hearing it had withdrawn. I do not know but this may be on the whole the most desirable result. There is no fault attaching to the 51Directors and they have had warning enough to prevent their negligence, hereafter. The trial today was between Mr. David Ellis and Mr. John Henshaw brother of the late Director.2 I knew nothing of either, but as the Bank had lost by the Jackson partiality of the former director I thought the best course was to prevent any political bias influencing a man’s mercantile transactions, Mr. Ellis as I presume, not being partial on any side. As the meeting was small and nothing likely to be done on the subject of the application for a renewal of the Charter, I returned to the Office and busied myself arranging my papers which have fallen into great confusion. My Office is now cleared of the rubbish which was to go to Quincy and I shall now feel as if I could sit down and pursue my regular occupations more methodically. I called in and paid a short visit to Mr. Brooks. These calls are a little irksome for they are always interrupting the busy time of a person always busy. I do not think myself ever at liberty to say more than a brief inquiry after Mrs. Brooks, and often feel as if I was intruding to do that.

Afternoon at home. Tried to divide my time so as to read a little, write a little, and arrange a little. Commenced making a Catalogue of my Books, which will be a considerable labour. Read some of the Commencement of the Book on Animals published by the Society for Useful and Entertaining Knowledge in England and was interested by it.3 The account is simple and pleasing. The evening was however passed in visiting Mrs. E. Brooks and Mrs. F. Parkman, the latter is a Cousin of Abby’s, sister to Miss Hall.4 Her husband is a singular man, quite in character with the rest of the family in eccentricity, but withal a man of good and charitable feelings. Returned home to read my Chapters in the new Testament before retiring.


David Henshaw, collector of customs at Boston ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830).


David Ellis, merchant, and John Henshaw of Henshaw & Co., druggists, of 21 and 33 India Wharf, respectively ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830).


In 1829 the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, London, began publication of The Library of Entertaining Knowledge with a volume on quadrupeds entitled The Menageries. CFA’s set, 51 vols., London, 1829–1838, is in MQA.


Mrs. Francis Parkman, formerly Caroline Hall (b. 1794), was the daughter of Nathaniel Hall and Joanna Cotton (Brooks) Hall, and a sister of Mary Brooks Hall. Her husband was minister of the New North Church, Hanover Street (Congregational); their son, Francis Parkman, was the future historian ( DAB ). They lived on Somerset Place ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830).