Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Friday 19th.

Sunday. 21st.

Saturday 20th. CFA Saturday 20th. CFA
Saturday 20th.

Morning at the Office. The day was fine, and I walked out without my coat. The first thing I did was to go and see Miss Welsh and make a final settlement of our affairs—George’s last just debt.1 His expenditure for the last fifteen months of his life must have been enormous, as he had spent his own allowance of a thousand five hundred dollars, eleven hundred dollars of my father’s, and was in debt five hundred more. I am very unwilling to think it, but cannot blind my eyes to the facts, and the deduction from them, that he did not cease to live too soon. The moment was the crisis for his reputation and there is now nothing known of a positive nature against him. Poor fellow. His own evil passions dealt hardly with his better nature. The weeds grew very rank and choked the useful productions which grew too luxuriantly to allow depth of root.

From seeing Miss Welsh, I crossed over to the Houses in Tremont Street and was much pleased with their neat appearance inside. Thence to the Office—Where I was interrupted by the appearance of the creditor of Miss Longhurst who trusteed the Misses Haskins—Mr. Wales. He is a stubborn, dogmatical young puppy, but he had the advantage so I was obliged to play prudently to save remnants, so I was glad to compound the matter for four dollars—better than nothing. I then went back to see the ladies and got my order accepted to put 192it out of doubt.2 Dr. Storer called to see me, being somewhat frightened and to consult about the terms of a reconciliation. He has got himself into a scrape and me too, and I suppose he thinks I should help him out, so I foresee a tax of Money for the folly of a rash young man. He left me in much agitation. I do not yet see clearly through the business. Thus, this morning was as much broken up as all the rest, and gave me no time for any mental business. I am resolved not to think so much of my father’s affairs and wait patiently the result of all.

After dinner I read Demosthenes as usual and accomplished a considerable portion, but the interest is gone. I read La Harpe’s examination over. It would not do. The spirit has for the present departed from me. In the evening went to the Meeting of the Debating Society and took my part in the discussion of the subject of the expediency of Theatricals, which was warmly contested.

1.

At the time CFA settled GWA’s estate, Harriet Welsh had requested that the payment due her and her father, Dr. Thomas Welsh, for GWA’s rent during the last weeks of his life be further delayed, suggesting the possibility that the sum due might be offset against Thomas Welsh Jr.’s arrearage on his office at 23 Court Street (CFA to JQA, 26 Feb., LbC, Adams Papers; and see above, entry for 31 Oct. 1829, note). The matter was settled by the payment to Harriet Welsh of $31.66 and by a credit to Thomas Welsh Jr’s account of $15 (M/CFA/3).

2.

The situation is unclear. On 25 Feb., while Miss Longhurst still had her dressmaking establishment at 103 Tremont Street, CFA charged rent for two rooms in the house to the Misses Haskins at $25 a quarter. Perhaps earlier they had occupied the rooms as tenants of Miss Longhurst; at least they seem to have been indebted to her. Apparently it was their indebtedness that the creditors were contending for and on which CFA reached a somewhat disadvantageous agreement with Wales. On 3 April CFA collected $6.60 from them, representing rent from 25 Feb. to 22 March, when the new tenant, Mr. Spear, took possession (M/CFA/3).