Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Monday. 26th.

Wednesday 28th.

Tuesday. 27th. CFA Tuesday. 27th. CFA
Tuesday. 27th.

Morning fine but colder as the warm Clouds had dissolved in rain during the night and left us a Clear sky. I went to the Office as usual and was less interrupted than common. P. P. F. Degrand came in to give me my Newspaper which he had taken from my box to take to Quincy but as he did not go, he returned it to me. He told me that Mr. John Hubbard had yesterday assigned his goods and chattels away to others in order to rid himself of his liabilities as a Member of the Canton Factory.1 A fraudulent proceeding as I suspect though it will not be considered as censurable by the majority of men. That does not alter the stubborn nature of the fact. I then went to obtain the numbers of the Gazette containing the notice of the Estate of Thomas Boylston, for my Father, and tried to see Mr. Tarbell about the remnant of my Law business but I could not find him.2 The rest of the morning occupied in reading Marshall on Insurance—The nature of loss, and general average. There is little satisfaction in reading over particular cases when the principles are the desirable things. And the principles of Insurance lay in a pretty narrow compass.

In the afternoon, having worked an hour upon my Catalogue, I sat down and finished Auger’s preliminary discourse, after which I was induced to look into Mitford and became again infinitely provoked with his impudent perversion of History.3 This consumed the two hours devoted to study in the Afternoon, and the Evening was passed with my Wife. She begins to feel the irksome loneliness of new married life considerably and this produces occasional depression of spirits. I regret it particularly as I fear now there will not be a termination to these sufferings and that my dread will be realized, but I still trust not.4 Evening closed with five Chapters of Luke.

1.

The factory failure is probably that of the Neponset Woollen Co. in Canton, Mass., which under the presidency of Harrison Gray Otis had been formed in 591827 to take over the plant of the Boston Manufacturing Co. after its failure. See Daniel T. V. Huntoon, History of the Town of Canton, Cambridge, 1893, p. 545–546. The slump in textile manufactures, with resultant failures, was so severe in 1829 that various stratagems were resorted to, including giving away shares of stock, to avoid assessments. See Caroline F. Ware, The Early New England Cotton Manufacture, Boston, 1931, p. 91–92, 134–135. John Hubbard was probably the merchant of that name residing at 7 Somerset Street; see entry for 28 Sept., above.

2.

Thomas Tarbell was married to Lucy Tufts, daughter of Cotton Tufts Jr. (1757–1833) and Mercy Brooks (1763–1849) who were doubly related to AA. See Adams Genealogy. CFA had had a room at the Tarbell home, 11 Avon Place, from 10 Nov. 1828 to 23 June 1829, and friendly relations had been maintained. Tarbell, an importer and merchant, had interested himself in and sought to forward CFA’s legal progress both by putting small claims for collection into his hands and by sending him other clients with claims to be prosecuted. Those claims, aside from his work on matters relating to JQA’s affairs and as his agent, seem to have constituted the sum of CFA’s practice during his first year or two at the bar. See numerous mentions in vol. 2; and below, entries for 30 Oct. 1829–1 Feb. 1830passim.

3.

William Mitford, The History of Greece, which CFA read while at Harvard, is frequently mentioned in vols. 1 and 2.

4.

See below, entry for 8 Nov. and note.