Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Monday. 20th.

Wednesday. 22.

Tuesday. 21. CFA Tuesday. 21. CFA
Tuesday. 21.

Fine morning. I went to town accompanied by Mr. Frothingham. Morning passed quietly at the Office. Engaged in reading the Report on the Masonic Investigation. My own opinion is now pretty well made up. On principle I disapprove of every thing like Masonic Societies, not considering Morgan’s murder as any thing other than one illustration of what such combinations can be made to do.1 With regard to the persons who conduct the party,2 and to the measures which they adopt to sustain it, I have always had much more doubt—At least so far as concerns this section of the Country.

Returned to Medford to dinner. Afternoon pretty much wasted. Took a walk with Mr. Brooks and heard him descant upon the beauty and merit of his land. It is rich certainly, and has been much improved by him. The scene is very lovely although not of the commanding kind which I confess I am more fond of.

On our return to the house P.C.B. Jr. came out with a stranger, and after his departure evening came on. I read a few pages of Frankland. Evening, Horatio Brooks came out—His vessel not ready.

1.

The abduction and murder of William Morgan in 1826 and the subsequent trials in New York State marked the beginning of political Antimasonry in the United States. JQA had earlier this month completed a thorough study of “The Murder of William Morgan” (MS, 5–17 Aug., Adams Papers). The subject became one of continuing interest to CFA, and in 1833 he published as Nos. 8 and 9 in his series of Antimasonic articles in the Boston Daily Advocate, the “History of the Morgan Abduction.”

2.

That is, the Antimasonic party.