Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Monday. 12th.

Wednesday. 14th.

Tuesday. 13th. CFA Tuesday. 13th. CFA
Tuesday. 13th.

Morning again gloomy and cold, with rain and snow. I went to the Office as usual and received a letter from my father upon miscellaneous subjects which was quite interesting.1 The rest of the time was passed in reading Marshall, the fifth volume of which I finished. It has refreshed my memory upon the principal matters relating to the Administration of Genl. Washington, a period of history which is becoming every day more interesting and important. But it has dissatisfied me more with a work which is miserably poor in reflection, and withal carries with it no slight evidence of the feelings of party, and the hurry of agitated writing. But my pursuit of the earlier portion of our History engrosses me now infinitely more, and I intend to carry it on more fully in future.2

My time was entirely at my own disposal and I did little or nothing, my books not being here. I looked over my brother George’s papers to see what was to be done with Mr. Whitney’s claim, but could make nothing of it. Afternoon passed in thinking and writing. But to me it is exceedingly hard to do the latter and I try over and over again. I did begin in earnest today and am resolved now, to intermit as little as 213possible. Evening, Eustace to my Wife and the enthusiastic description of Rome—After which, the second volume of my father’s Lectures.

1.

8 April (Adams Papers).

2.

The idea of writing an essay in American history had been evolving since 3 April following completion of the reading of Robertson, Hutchinson, Chalmers, Marshall, and Grahame comparatively, and took final shape as a study of the Puritan inheritance in New England. CFA was engaged steadily during the next several weeks in preparing successive drafts. Submission to the North American Review in the form of a review of Grahame was followed, after considerable delay, by publication. See below, entries for 14 April–1 May; Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel Nos. 294, 316; North Amer. Rev. , 32:174–195 (Jan. 1831).