Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Thursday. 31st.

Saturday. 2d.

Friday. November 1st. CFA Friday. November 1st. CFA
Friday. November 1st.

The day was cold and clear, and in all respects favorable for the progress of my Mother’s Journey. I went to the Office and passed my time not very profitably, being engaged all the time in hunting after a woodsawyer, after all without success; this is comic.

At one, I went to Quincy. The ride was quite a cold one. My father seemed well and glad to see me. There is a quiet heartiness about his welcome and an apparent desire to please that I enjoy exceedingly. He alluded to the numbers upon Proscription with so much of compliment that I felt much encouraged by it. But as he says, nobody will read them but the Antimasons because it is a principle to read nothing. The allusion to Mr. A. H. Everett, he appeared to regret, but I could not help it, for his windings ought to expose him to contempt. It seems that the Atlas, one of their factions Newspapers has come out also with an attack in it’s own virulent manner. The probability seems to be that he will be crushed. I regret it for him though he has not altogether deserved any different fate.1

After much desultory conversation, I returned to town. Evening, my Wife was down for the first time. I copied more of the Letter to Lincoln.


Although A. H. Everett is not named in the published version, the reference to him in “The Proscription of Antimasonry,” No. 4, is clear. Having completed a destructive analysis of the Address framed by the leadership of the National Republican convention which contained a violent attack directed at Antimasons in general and seemingly at JQA in particular, CFA turns to a consideration of Everett: “And —— was willing to affix his name to a paper he never wrote, filled with such miserable trash. A good reasoner, an amiable man, and fitted to honor a far better party than that which now dishonors him; ... surely he might have abstained from sanctioning with his name so atrocious a libel upon thousands of his fellow citizens.... The thing is done—and regret is unavailing. The hand of retributive justice cannot however be far away, when such newspapers as the Centinel and the Atlas can have the insolence to threaten the independence of his judgment, and to dictate to him, notwithstanding all his attainments, notwithstanding all his great services to his party–the course he must pursue” (Boston Daily Advocate, 1 Nov., p. 2, cols. 3–4).