Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Monday. 18th.

Wednesday. 20th.

Tuesday. 19th. CFA Tuesday. 19th. CFA
Tuesday. 19th.

Morning cold and clear. At the Office where I had many persons to see me. Mr. Whitney the Tenant of the House came to talk about the rent which is due to him. He was very anxious to have me take off the Quarter’s rent upon the House which I charged him, but I declined very positively so as to make him assured that I should not.1 After much conversation he withdrew, making me suspect that he designed making an appeal from my decision. I care very little if he does. My own duty in managing the affairs of the Agency is performed.

Mr. Leighton called upon me at last upon the Affairs of the Housewright Association and promised an early settlement.2 I then went to receive the Dividend upon the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Office Stock.3 Met there Mr. Foster who talked to me upon the subject of the Boylston Market and tried to get me to go into the plan. Indeed I should not feel at all unwilling to follow him, notorious as he is for his clearness of4 Money affairs.5 I hope my Father will return a favourable answer. I then made the Deposit and returned to my Office to 137consider over the matter of a Letter from Mr. Vaughan to my Father. I tried to find Mr. Curtis but not succeeding opened the letter at a hazard. Returned home and in the afternoon had a copy taken, after which I sent on the original with a letter of my own.6

I then passed some time in reading Mitchell’s Aristophanes, finished the Acharnae and was induced by it to open Brumoy’s Account of the same author in which I did not go far before evening, when I went down to see the family at their usual Meeting on this Evening. The Meeting was much as usual, without material interest and only better than others because the individuals were not at open war. I did not relish it much. The Society is not that to which my own taste inclines.

1.

Prentiss Whitney had vacated 23 Court Street on 1 Jan., owing a large arrearage. In addition, it was CFA’s contention that the terms of his lease required payment to 1 April. Whitney asked for withdrawal of this claim as a part of a settlement. CFA instituted suit against him for the total amount. CFA to JQA, 2 Feb. (LbC, Adams Papers).

2.

The Boston Housewright Association, represented apparently by Charles Leighton, housewright, of the firm of Lee & Leighton, Portland Street ( Boston Directory, 1830–1831), had made arrangements to rent the room opposite CFA’s office at $35 a year, but the matter had not yet been concluded nor payment made.

3.

JQA owned thirty shares of Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Co. stock for which he had paid $100 a share. Dividends, paid annually, were currently at $7 a share (M/CFA/3). The company offices were at 50 State Street ( Boston Directory, 1830–1831).

4.

Thus apparently in MS, but CFA very likely meant to write “cleverness in.”

5.

James H. Foster’s reputation has been mentioned earlier (entry for 30 Nov. 1829 and note).

6.

The letter from Petty Vaughan is missing; it contained further information relating to the funds due the Thomas Boylston estate. CFA, in his covering letter, also relayed to his father Foster’s advice on the Boylston Market matter (19 Jan., LbC, Adams Papers).