Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Sunday. September 12th. IX:30. CFA Sunday. September 12th. IX:30. CFA
Sunday. September 12th. IX:30.

It was so late this morning before I arose that I found it impossible to do any thing before the time to attend Meeting. I went this morning in my mother’s carriage. We had a gentleman from Canton, a Mr. Huntoun1 or some such name as our Minister. I seldom attend to a Sermon but his was so simple yet so sensible that I could not help being pleased with it. Many of his observations though not new were correct and so exactly falling in with my sentiments that really I was pleased. He spoke much of hypocritical piety, and I have had so much of it in one instance in our family that he could hardly have used words which would have been too severe for me. He is much more sensible than the men, we are in the habit of hearing or, at least if not more sensible, he is more interesting. Which with me amounts to the same thing.

I returned home and spent the rest of the morning in the company of my mother. She was as pleasant as usual, describing the different great characters of this country, who are given very satirically indeed, 322even the adherents of my father, she does not spare. At Washington, it is a little different. Singular, I have often thought that our sentiments concerning individuals should change so much as they take different attitudes in the Presidential question. Unwilling as I am to confess it, I must own a power which in spite of my candour governs me. But I shall not feel that as soon as this is over. I shall then have my own enemies in the world to undertake.

In the afternoon, I did not attend Meeting, but wrote my Journal this afternoon and a long letter to John.2 He complains very much of being melancholy as he is alone so that I in compassion address him oftener than I otherwise should. I cannot be said to possess much material but with the little I had I filled three pages and sent them off. I then read a few pages of Junius which filled up the afternoon. Mr. De Grand was here today again and Mr. Webster3 also paid a visit. In the Evening there was a great deal of company here, some people from curiosity to see the President, others as visitors to my father, Mrs. Quincy, Mrs. Greenleaf, Mr. Miller &c. After they were gone, we descended to supper where we sat until it became quite late. Mr. De Grand never takes leave until the last moment. XI.


Benjamin Huntoon, Congregational minister in Canton (D/CFA/1; Mass. Register, 1824, p. 90).




Daniel Webster (JQA, Diary, 12 Sept. 1824).

Monday. September 13th. VIII. CFA Monday. September 13th. VIII. CFA
Monday. September 13th. VIII.

Arose earlier than usual this morning being roused by a call from my Uncle to go shooting with him. My father and George went this morning to Boston to go on a sailing expedition in the harbour. I liked it so little last year that I declined going. I was prepared in about an hour and we set off taking the direction of the estate at Mount Wollaston. Not a solitary bird was to be found there and we went further, indeed to the extremity of the land and in this way, I traversed much more of the land in that quarter than I had ever seen before. We found no sport but I saw the place. It is a very pretty situation but one which requires immense sums of money to be spent upon it before it can become any thing like a delightful residence. Much has been expended upon it already but I cannot say that I think it has been done most judiciously or to the most advantage. My father has some plan in view concerning it I suppose; if President he will probably make it his summer residence immediately, if not he will wait until the state of his finances will authorize the expenditure.


We returned some time before dinner rather dispirited by our ill success as we did not find any thing to exert our skill upon. I spent my time before dinner as usual with my mother and afterwards I also spent much time there. She went to Mrs. Websters1 in which time I wrote my Journal which was all the directly useful which I did to day. The afternoon was very close and sultry and from some unknown cause I became headachish and nervous. Being in conversation with my Grandfather and Mother, I was compelled to repeat so often as he is now troubled with deafness in addition to the rest, that I became ill humoured and I doubt not was exceeding bad company. After tea, I was in company with my Grandfather for the Evening. He is a much less agreable companion than he was a year ago, his own conversation not being so amusing. He thinks less strongly, not because he can not, but I incline to think because he is unwilling to make the exertion. We then went to Supper where we sat until ten o’clock. Soon after which finding myself inclined to be sleepy, I retired to bed. My father did not return here tonight. X:25.


Mrs. Daniel Webster, the former Grace Fletcher ( DAB ).