Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Tuesday. 13th.

Thursday. 15th.

260 Wednesday. 14th. CFA Wednesday. 14th. CFA
Wednesday. 14th.

After going to the Office for a few minutes, and calling upon Miss Louisa C. Smith to accompany me, I went to Quincy in a Carriage according to request. The day was so cold that I felt comfortless all the way out. I got out at the House of my Father for the sake of obtaining from among his Papers two or three which I found necessary. These I succeeded after considerable search in getting. I then went up to the House now occupied by the Widow. I sat very quietly alone for some time as I was early. But before three, persons began to come and the House was soon quite full.

Mr. Whitney made a very good Prayer, and the whole thing was conducted with the greatest propriety. We followed the body to it’s long home. I went into the place as I came down and it gave me the least unpleasant idea of the grave that I ever had. The Coffins six in number were arranged on each side, and the place was clean and airy. There repose Mr. & Mrs. Cranch, Mrs. Smith the Mother of Louisa C. Smith and Mrs. Smith the sister of my Father, poor George and an infant child of the late deceased who today was added to the number.1 My Grandfather and Grandmother have been removed to a spot beneath the Church. Such places are generally gloomy but this was less so than I expected. After every thing was over, we went back to the House and from thence to town. I was quite glad to get to my warm fire at home.

1.

JQA had instructed CFA that upon TBA’s death CFA should pay the expenses of the funeral and interment from JQA’s funds, and that TBA’s remains should be placed in the Adams family vault in the First Church burying ground (in what is now Quincy Square) “by the side of my Sister and my Son and of his own TBA’s infant child” (JQA to CFA, 5 March, Adams Papers; see also, above, vol. 3:85). The three others named by CFA as reposing in the vault were AA’s sister, Mary (Smith) Cranch (1741–1811); her husband, Richard Cranch (1726–1811); and Catharine Louisa (Salmon) Smith (1749–1824), the wife of AA’s brother, William Smith. On all these, see Adams Genealogy. It would appear from the present passage that the floor of the vault at that time was at or near ground level and that entrance to the vault was through a door or grille, though now (1967) only the topmost part of the vault, above the line of any door or aperture, is exposed.