Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Tuesday. 8th.

Thursday. 10th.

Wednesday. 9th. CFA Wednesday. 9th. CFA
Wednesday. 9th.

The morning was cloudy but turned off quite fine. I began another undertaking this morning in addition to my former ones, to which I have been led by reading Dr. Parr’s Life, that is, the making a Catalogue of my Collection of Books. I propose to turn it to some account by learning the editions and their separate value and object. I began it this morning.

At the Office where I finished the volume of Mitford which I had been reading. The most prejudiced and unfair statements I ever read 257in History, compounded to produce an effect upon the occasional feelings of a people. I returned home quite early in order to go out with my Wife to Quincy. Accordingly we went and much to our surprise we found that my Mother was sick and confined to her room ever since Saturday, with a violent attack of erysipelas.1 My father’s spirits seemed much affected. Indeed I rarely recollect seeing him more dull. The time did not pass pleasantly to me, as the family seemed so disarranged. My father was regulating what he never did before, and Mrs. J. Adams doing nothing but sitting with her hands before her. The Child a nuisance, and altogether not over pleasant. The afternoon passed at my Mother’s bedside, I afterwards conversed a little with my father about his plans and prospects and tried to excite his weakened purpose of writing my grandfather’s life.2 After which we returned to town, and I finished Dr. Parr.


JQA pronounced it the “most terrific attack of St. Anthony’s fire that I ever witnessed” (Diary, 8 June).


“Charles urged me to resume the Memoir of my father’s life, which I have already too long neglected. I have in truth here less time at my disposal than at Washington” (JQA, Diary, 9 June). An 85-page fragment in JQA’s hand of a “Memorial of the Life of John Adams,” dated 5 Aug. 1829 is in the Adams Papers (M/JQA/46, Microfilms, Reel No. 241) and was printed by CFA in JA, Works , 1:13–89.