Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Wednesday. 26th.

Friday. 28th.

25 Thursday. 27th. CFA Thursday. 27th. CFA
Thursday. 27th.

This was the day which the ancient custom of the Country has fixed under the appointment of the Governor of the State for a holiday of thanksgiving. The holidays of the Puritans were all spent in Prayers and were a relaxation only to the labouring portion of the Community. It is a matter of great doubt to me whether the human mind can stand this perpetual recurrence to grave thoughts. It can not be denied that New England never has been able to throw off the sad coloured livery which distinguished its origin. I know that gaiety and the lively feelings have a tendency to insinuate folly and vice into the heart and into the manners of the Community. But yet the medium is after all the only safety. Melancholy on one side makes life insupportable. Indulgence in excess makes it a condemnation of self.

I attended divine service and heard Mr. Frothingham deliver a discourse of merit upon the prevailing tendencies of the day and the necessity of religious feeling to the safety of the State. Assuredly. I lost the Text however.

Our day was a very quiet one at home. We declined going to Mr. Frothingham’s and partaking of the excessive table which is the only amusement of a Thanksgiving day in most families. We went however in the evening. Edward Brooks and his two boys the only persons. Conversation of a quiet kind and home.