Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 4

Thursday. 27th.

Saturday. 29th.

Friday. 28th. CFA Friday. 28th. CFA
Friday. 28th.

I was obliged to go into town again today for the purpose of overseeing the putting my Coal into the Cellar. And it took up more than two hours of the morning. I am afraid I have been deceived as to the quality of this article which may tend to make our Winter uncomfortable. But it is too late to go back. I shall purchase some of the best quality to mix with it. Returned to my Office, I passed an hour in looking over Accounts &ca., and then went back to Quincy.

After dinner, went on with Seneca whose Treatise de Beneficiis, I have at last almost waded through. I am not satisfied that I have read it with advantage to myself. Seneca is a Writer who must be somewhat dwelt upon. His thoughts must be analyzed, must be weighed with care so as to measure what is good in them from what is bad. In this way his works may be of service. I have done nothing of this.

Had also a conversation with my father the nature of which is not for this Journal. I took the opportunity however to express my opinions 370upon a subject which appears to me of momentous concern to his future comfort. Having done so once from a sense of duty which I felt incumbent upon me, I have nothing more to say upon the subject and will leave it to take care of itself.1 A quiet evening at home.

1.

Perhaps the conversation was related to some conclusions and expectations stated in JQA’s next succeeding letter to JA2 (5 Oct., Adams Papers):

“I take it for granted that the business of the Mills has suffered greatly by the disability of Mr. Greenleaf following upon your own. These misfortunes crowding upon one another, have brought me to the conclusion that after the present Season that business must be given up. For the next year I shall if possible lease the Mills, and if that is impracticable, dismiss Speakman and the other workmen there and shut them up. For this I wish you to commence making preparation as early as possible. It is probable that the ensuing Winter is the last that I shall pass in Washington, and it will be my wish to dispose of all my property there as advantageously as I can.”

See also same to same, 19 Oct. (Adams Papers).

However, when the time came for the family’s departure for Washington, CFA, who had earlier felt that JQA’s political unpopularity in Massachusetts and in the Plymouth district would dictate his retirement from the House (LCA to JA2, 29 Aug., Adams Papers), had become convinced that “the President will probably remain in Congress as long as he has a mind, and I do not see but what General Jackson may have a lease equally long of the Presidency” (CFA to JA2, 8 Nov., Adams Papers).