Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 5

Wednesday. 3d.

Friday. 5th.

Thursday. 4th. CFA Thursday. 4th. CFA
Thursday. 4th.

A fine day but exceedingly warm. I accompanied Mr. Brooks to town. My first business was to reflect calmly upon the subject alluded to yesterday and to prepare a letter in case I should conclude to decline. In affairs of party it is always a hard thing to know what to do and yet it is worse to stand still. It is evident to me that the object of 379the Boston men is to join with the Jackson party, this by force of organization they will carry. The candidate of Antimasons for the Governorship will be the candidate of the present dominant party in the Nation. The result must inevitably be the union of these two parties in all subsequent measures, and in the submersion of the weaker in the stronger. Now with my present feeling to Jacksonism I cannot bring my mind even indirectly to give it any aid. On the other hand Governor Davis and a considerable number of Masons in various parts of the State are lending their aid to dissolve the Institution, the results of which exertion are not yet visible. I think the duty of Antimasons is to suspend action until the hope of any effect from it has expired. And not to rush into violent measures which will only exasperate and defeat the object in view. This will not however be the opinion of active Politicians who live upon organization.1 I finally settled down upon these latter considerations as motives for my declining, wrote them out fairly and sent them to Dr. Phelps, Chairman of the meeting,2 under cover to Mr. Hallett. Thus finishes this business with me. My Antimasonry has not been a discreet measure but it was based upon what I believe to be solid principles and the same is the case with my retirement. There is no other safety for a person taking part in political affairs. My mind was easy when I had done it.

The remainder of the morning was taken up in the usual way. Returned to Medford. Mr. Brooks had expected some of the family but none came. Sidney and Wife passed the day. In the afternoon read Maintenon, and Ovid. Evening it was so warm I was idle. Did not touch German today.

1.

JQA had at the same time arrived at similar conclusions as to the proper course for Antimasons to take and as to the unlikelihood that the party would adopt such a course. JQA, Diary, 6 Sept. 1834.

2.

LbC, Adams Papers.