Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Tuesday. 5th.

Thursday. 7th.

Wednesday. 6th. CFA Wednesday. 6th. CFA
Wednesday. 6th.

Pleasant morning. My father came in to town this morning preparatory to his going away. As Mr. Everett wished to see him I invited him 208to dine with him, and after a battle with Judge Hall who had accidentally caught him up in the Street, I secured my point. The remainder of my morning was passed at the office.

My father came in and we had much miscellaneous Conversation—Principally political—At times touching upon Lincoln’s letter,1 at times upon the elections now pending, and afterwards upon affairs of money. I was thus disabled from doing any thing and shall be obliged to give up writing my No. 5 upon Proscription. I do not know that this will be any great loss.

My dinner was a tolerably pleasant one, but Alex. H. Everett seemed to be awkward and not able to reconcile himself to his situation. He has been trimming, and is ashamed of it.2 Judge Hall came in afterwards, and in the evening Degrand. They none of them seem able to foresee the event of the election but as I think incline to the belief that Davis will be elected. It may be so, but the dullness of my optics is such that I am unable to discover the place to show it. Should this happen, however, it will make some difference in the general course of events. My father retired early in order to be ready for the morning’s departure.

1.

CFA took the occasion to urge upon JQA the omission of parts of his letter to Gov. Lincoln, which he “readily promised to do.” JQA packed the letter in his trunk to take with him to Washington for revision (JQA, Diary, 6 Nov.).

2.

“Alexander H. Everett ... assured me that he did not write the part of the National Republican Convention Committee’s Address which concerned me. He said it was very much debated and he disapproved it. But he thought it would bear a different construction from that which I applied to it. There has been a great struggle to strike off Everett from the state Senatorial ticket this year” (JQA, Diary, 6 Nov.). Whatever were JQA’s feelings about Everett after the meeting, LCA continued to share with CFA, at least for a time, a bitterness toward him derived from the feeling that he owed his whole career to JQA: “I have known the Gentleman ... ever since he was 19 years old and from that time I have never yet had reason to believe that he knew what a fixed principle was.... He is one of the ephemeral class whom your Grandfather thoroughly read and despised and who owes all the standing he had attained to by basking in the smiles of your Fathers early partiality which had set his judgment in this as many other instances to sleep.” (LCA to CFA, 17 Nov., Adams Papers.) CFA’s attitude toward and relations with A. H. Everett during the next few years would undergo substantial changes, which can be traced through the Index in vol. 6. A likeness of Everett appears in the present volume; see also p. xv–xvi, above.