Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Friday. 9th.

Sunday. 11th.

Saturday. 10th. CFA Saturday. 10th. CFA
Saturday. 10th.

The day was fine, and I went to town accompanied by Sarah, the child’s nurse for the Summer, whom I also brought out again. My time was very much taken up in performing Commissions entrusted to me by various members of the family.

My father who seems badly in body and mind, being disabled in his hand, requested me to call and deliver messages verbally in answer to two Letters he received this morning. One was from B. F. Hallet upon the subject of Dearborn’s election. Degrand has been exercising a little of his French impudence by getting inserted indirectly what he could not procure directly, my father’s opinion in favour of Dearborn. The Antimasons, seeing a statement in the Centinel to this effect, are desirous of counteracting it. The business is one of great delicacy.1 I had other political conversation also.

From thence I went to see A. H. Everett—My purpose to tell him, my father would try to see him on Wednesday.2 He then spoke of my last Article and it’s success. He referred to notices of it in the New York American and Montreal Paper. I have seen neither, but I have met with one in the Morning Post which was unexpected and therefore the more agreeable.3 This is a virulent Jackson Newspaper. It is a little encouraging to me and God knows, I need it. But the greatest sign of my success is to be found in a request to write again upon Hutchinson’s third volume for the January number. I said I would endeavor to be ready although at present in the midst of my Grandfather’s Papers. This gives me occupation at the same time that it sustains me as a descendant of a brilliant family in the public estimation. Here is the rub upon my spirits. Although I can have no hopes of any public success like that of my fathers, yet at least I can desire to stand as a worthy descendant so far as my own conduct can affect me.

I made two or three other calls and then to the House where I could not get in. On the whole, I was walking all the morning. Returned to dinner. Afternoon quiet, reading over Letters, and Evening, finished Humphry Clinker.

145 1.

In July JQA had been importuned by Degrand to endorse the candidacy of Gen. H. A. S. Dearborn for reelection to Congress from the Norfolk district on the grounds that the Antimasons were alleging JQA’s opposition to his candidacy. Despite his good opinion of Dearborn and his conviction that Dearborn had been honorable in maintaining his neutrality on the Masonic question, JQA persisted in his refusal to become embroiled in a contest outside his district (JQA, Diary, 21 July). Nevertheless, in the newspapers thereafter, apparently by Degrand’s design but without ascription, there appeared a squib that “Much as Mr. John Quincy Adams has written on the subject of Masonry, he is decidedly in favor of the re-election of Gen. Dearborn” (Columbian Centinel, 7 Aug., p. 2, col. 5). On the same day B. F. Hallett wrote to JQA (Adams Papers) seeking a disclaimer for publication in the Advocate. His letter, however—and thus JQA’s reply—was delayed. Hallett, without waiting, printed a denial, though JQA’s reply went no further than reaffirming his determination to endorse no candidate (10 Aug., LbC, Adams Papers). Each of the parties continued to claim him, however (see Columbian Centinel, 16 Aug., p. 2, col. 3). No majority was achieved through nine elections. Dearborn was finally defeated by the antimasonic candidate on 3 March 1834.

2.

To A. H. Everett’s letter on behalf of himself and his brother urging JQA’s consent to allow himself to be run for Governor by a coalition of Antimasons and National Republicans (see above, entry for 18 July, note), JQA had replied as he did to two visitations from Hallett and other Antimasons, refusing without any reservation on the ground that his election could result only in “a turbulent administration and a furious renewal of the contest at the end of the year” (JQA, Diary, 10, 30 July; to A. H. Everett, 23 July, LbC, Adams Papers). Everett had replied asking for an opportunity to discuss the question further (to JQA, 8 Aug., Adams Papers).

3.

In its review of the July issue of the North Amer. Rev. , the Boston Morning Post said of CFA’s essay on Memorials of the Stuarts: “This is an excellent article, because it dares to render a little justice to [Cromwell]... whom many generations... have considered it an exalted merit, to damn.... We thank Heaven we have lived to see the time when there is some chance of his coming out of purgatory” (17 July, p. 1, col. 2).