Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 3

Thursday. 19th.

Saturday. 21st.

Friday. 20th. CFA Friday. 20th. CFA
Friday. 20th.

Morning delightful. Our weather now is extremely agreeable, being neither too warm nor too cold. Rode into town with Abby, and left her at the Bathing house,1 from whence I went as usual to the Office. After finishing several little Commissions which as usual take up a large part of my time, I read Hutchinson’s Account of the Witch excitement at Salem which on the whole appeared to me fair enough, although I do not exactly see through his statement of fraud. It is true much deception was used, but the great evidence of voluntary confession in some cases of the crime, goes far to prove disordered imaginations.

Rode out to dine, and in the afternoon went on with my Catalogue with only a single interruption in a visit from Mrs. Tufts, her daughter2 and Miss L. C. Smith. The work is great, and I am apprehensive my time will not hold out very well to complete it. Worked also in the Evening.

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1.

A “Bathing Establishment” was located near the Charlestown bridges but “below the bridges ... [to] possess all the advantages of having the water perfectly pure and clean.” Both warm and cold baths were offered, the cold bath “built in such a manner as to be free and secure from any danger.” The patronage of ladies was particularly sought, “a female attendant [being] in constant readiness to wait on” them (Boston Patriot, 29 May, p. 3, col. 3). This was but one of several bathhouses erected in Boston beginning as early as 1805. A wood block of Braman’s Baths, said to have been the largest of these, is reproduced in the present volume. See above, p. xv.

2.

That is, Mrs. Cotton Tufts Jr. of Weymouth (1763–1849, Mercy Brooks, first cousin of Peter C. Brooks, married to AA’s cousin) and her daughter, Mercy Tufts, on both of whom see Adams Genealogy.