Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Monday. 28th.

Wednesday. 30th.

Tuesday 29th. CFA Tuesday 29th. CFA
Tuesday 29th.

Morning to town. At the Office nearly all day, busy in preparing my Quarterly Accounts, bringing them down to the present period and drawing out a Copy to present.1 This has been the best Quarter since 271I have had any thing to do with the Agency. Yet my father has the impression that his property in Boston is paying him nothing. So that aware as I am of the difficulty I have had to arrange it to the best advantage, I find that the expectations are always higher.

My reply to Mr. Foster’s Article upon Railways appeared in this morning’s paper, just after an article of his on the Constitutionality of it.2 I did not relish it’s appearance as I never do my own writing. Mr. Curtis called for a minute to see me, to speak of the Boylston affairs. After going to order a bathing tub for my Mother, I started for Medford.

The afternoon was again showery though with little thunder. I made great progress in Winthrop’s Journal. Mr. Savage is a Tory, and a maker of very indifferent Notes. Strange that the Puritans should have fallen into such hands. Strange that a descendant should become so infected with the spirit of European dominion. Evening, Mssrs. Angiers came in on a visit of an hour.3 Told us of a Robbery of the Branch Bank.

1.

CFA to JQA, 30 June (LbC, Adams Papers). The quarterly statement of the Agency showed a balance of $906.21 after payment of all repairs undertaken on the property. This amount did not include quarterly payments of $565 due to be met on 1 July nor any of the receivables due on the same day. CFA urged that the surplus that would be deposited to JQA’s account be invested promptly. He reported as information that the income before expenses received by the Agency, 1 July 1829–30 June 1830, was $5,619.12.

2.

The second letter of “Honest Industry” urged the constitutionality of a grant by the city toward the construction of a railroad. CFA’s letter, signed “A Calm Observer,” followed this letter but was an answer to the earlier letter published on 24 June. Opposing the city’s “dabbling in railways,” CFA argued that government operation was inefficient and uneconomical, that railroad building was an artificial stimulant to the Boston economy, that “where capital is, there it will naturally seek advantageous investments.” Summarizing, he wrote: “My choice is the slow jog of common sense, by which, though I lose in quickness of motion and perhaps opportunities for display, I am sure to get an equivalent—i.e. my journey’s end without risk of my neck” (Boston Patriot, 29 June, p. 1–2).

3.

John and Luther Angier of Medford, masters of an academy for boys which several of ABA’s brothers had attended (vol. 2:405; Brooks, Waste Book, 1821). On John Angier, who later married Abigail Smith Adams, see vol. 2:206 and Adams Genealogy.