Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Tuesday. 26th.

Thursday. 28th.

Wednesday. 27th. CFA Wednesday. 27th. CFA
Wednesday. 27th.

Cool but a pleasant day. I went to the Office as usual. The papers are full of my father’s Speech, the Whigs of course very indignant indeed. There was a little something rather out of form in the Speech which I regret but there is no taking the Newspaper account of what he says. The sarcasm upon Mr. Webster is so keen that his party here will feel it very deeply and it makes my position still more and more unpleasant. I wrote a letter to my Mother in consequence which perhaps was not prudent.1 She will show it to my father and the effect it may have upon him I do not know.

Accounts. Diary. Walk—Nothing of importance. Livy. Afternoon, the letters and papers of Dr. Franklin nearly all of which I finished. Mr. T. K. Davis came in the evening and we had a comfortable talk, not much however that was new. He stays a little too long, for regular people.


In his letter to his mother (Adams Papers), CFA reflected that JQA’s open attack upon Webster “in terms of extraordinary severity” would produce in Boston

“a crisis which I have been for a long time anticipating, I will also add somewhat dreading.” In a situation in which the lines would be openly drawn, he continued, “considering the very ungenerous course pursued towards my father, I cannot say that this state of things is easily evitable, and the rela-318tions with foreign nations seem to be such as to be likely to prevent an escape in that direction even if I could induce myself to adopt that alternative. I am neither in a disposition nor in a convenient situation with so many small children to leave America, and yet I do not know that I would not do it rather than live in such perpetual hot water and personal hatred of half mankind. Politics are intensely disgusting to me and nothing but a sense of position has ever led me to adopt them.... [H]aving both [name and fortune] and being blessed with extraordinary abundance of the favours of this world, I seem in some measure destined to encounter in the place of my birth the deadly coldness of hereditary prejudice and rancour. I do not repine for that would be most ungrateful, but I must be permitted to regret. My nature is neither cold nor bitter but when one lives among men who are suspected of concealing bad feeling merely from courtesy, one is apt without great care to become habituated to both.”