Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

January. 1834. Wednesday. 1st.

Friday. 3d.

Thursday. 2d. CFA Thursday. 2d. CFA
Thursday. 2d.

The New Year brings with it several duties among which the most important is in a social point of view to redeem one’s engagements. I was busy much of my time in settling accounts and in bringing up my books. Received the dividends upon my stock in the Manufacturing 240Co. which was considerable and also the Atlas Insurance. It rained and I was hurried, but I got through with Mr. Foster’s payment notwithstanding a long visit from my new Tenant opposite, Mr. Walsh. He got upon Masonry, the Grand Lodge having this day surrendered their civil charter.1 He is a Mason. Fortunately, I asked him the question before I began—So that I was enabled prudently to regulate my conversation. He declined signing the famous Declaration, so he says, he is between fires, so are all men who halt between right and wrong. His defence of Masonry was curious. Afternoon I was very busy writing to my father. Finished and copied a long letter, but did not have time to send it.2 Miss Edgworth’s Harrington aloud to my Wife.

1.

The Massachusetts Grand Lodge, upon building its new Masonic Temple, had asked the Legislature to amend its corporate charter to permit it to own real estate to the value of $60,000, but the petition had been denied. Through the surrender of its charter as a corporation the Lodge would be enabled to retain title to its building. Taking this course did not affect Masonic activities and prerogatives (Columbian Centinel, 3 Jan., p. 2, cols. 2—3).

2.

To JQA, 1—3 Jan. (Adams Papers). CFA reports the effect of JQA’s withdrawal as insuring the election of John Davis. He makes explicit his own opinion, contrary to that of JQA, that, despite his Jacksonism, Marcus Morton was to be preferred to Davis as governor.