Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Wednesday. 9th.

Friday. 11th.

100 Thursday 10th. CFA Thursday 10th. CFA
Thursday 10th.

Mrs. Everett left us this morning. I went to the Office as usual and passed the morning. My studies were much as usual, engaged in reading Mr. Williston’s Book and reflecting upon what I had written. It is very certain that I do not feel quite satisfied with the result but I yet do not feel despair, perhaps what I have done may form a Nucleus for much better things. I arranged my father’s Affairs and obtained the proper balances of my books at the Bank. My money Accounts take up a little time, but on the whole look pretty well at present. I passed some time in reading the Message of the President to Congress which arrived here in the unprecedented time of thirty one hours and some minutes from Washington. It is on the whole a better document than I had expected, certainly not written by him, but rather singular in the amount of propositions started in it. I have a little wondered at those respecting the Judiciary and the Bank of the United States.1 I must reconsider this a little.

After dinner as usual I read a little of Aeschines and translated what I had read for the two last days. This Author becomes rather easier after leaving the technical parts of his Argument and consequently a little more interesting. As Abby was going out, I sat after tea and wrote another Letter to my Father in which I very candidly detail to him the difficulties which surround me, and my hopes to overcome them.2 I do earnestly hope to overcome them, for with me much should be done to establish that character I am ambitious to sustain in this Community. Are my visions dreams? Perhaps, but I never cherished them so much till now. I am the only Stock of an old House, and is not the object glorious to continue it in character even if I do not it’s name. The fear in this last regard is the only fear I entertain,3 but it would be strange even if I was to be fully happy in every thing. I make my humble supplication to God, though I cannot feel now as if I could complain if he tried me a little. Yet I feel as if I had a pure heart and a willing mind to obey his Counsels wherever they might end. Enough of this. I called for Abby at Mrs. Gorham’s and copied part of my Letter.


See entries for 14, 15 Dec., below.


(Adams Papers) Reflecting the purposiveness and confidence evident in the diary entries of the preceding five days, CFA analyzes his problems, asks JQA’s advice on a course of study and action that would seem designed to lead to a public career, and rationalizes the direction of his current employments as (1) a mastery of the principles of eloquence through the study of the models of ancient oratory; (2) the improvement of his literary style by translating, writing essays, letters, &c; (3) a full exploration 101of American history before and after the Revolution.


see above, entry for 8 Nov., note, and below, next entry.