Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Tuesday. September 14th. IX. CFA Tuesday. September 14th. IX. CFA
Tuesday. September 14th. IX.

Arose and after breakfasting, took the opportunity to write my Journal, before setting off for Cambridge. I had intended to have gone in order to assist my mother in her plan for tomorrow, but this was changed and I merely went as my father and mother, going to Mr. Everett’s to dine, gave me the opportunity. Cambridge looks extremely desolate and I had the displeasure when I got to my room to find that they were painting it and had deranged every part of my furniture so that it was clear there was no sitting at home to day. We did not arrive until three o’clock and I had to content myself with a meagre sort of a dinner at the hotel of a half a chicken and a beefsteak. These I soon dispatched, and then went and spent half an hour at the Bookstore. I found my accounts in better state than I had expected. I had much conversation with Brown1 on the subject of books. He is a shrewd young man and will get along exceedingly well in the world. He has made me expend a very large sum of money in books, taking advantage of my youth and inexperience. I have however managed to collect a library which is extremely useful to me.

I became extremely tired of remaining here however and determined to go and see if Brenan was at home. I found him in his new room in Holworthy and sat with him an hour. We conversed principally upon the affairs of next year, how now we should be freed from things we 324 image dislike so much. Mathematics would close and I should be forever freed from them. This is a most delightful thought. The idea also of being released from three recitations a day and morning exercises on Saturday is also extremely pleasant.2 He talked much of his future course and he appears as ambitious as any of us. I remained with him until his tea time when I returned to my room and sat there a little while, the carriage came at last and we went to Mr. Everett’s to take up my father and mother, I was obliged to wait here some time, in which I tried to amuse myself as well as I could with the conversation of the different coachmen, before the door. They talked very wisely. At last we started and got to Quincy at nine o’clock. I was exceedingly fatigued so that after going through the mere form of supper, I retired.



James Brown (1800–1855), employed since 1818 by William Hilliard, the Cambridge bookseller, was later the founder and co-partner of the Boston publishing firm Little, Brown & Company ( DAB ).


Seniors continued to read Stewart’s Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind and Paley’s Moral Philosophy and, contrary to CFA’s expectations, to study analytic geometry and topography. They also studied chemistry and political economy, and they read the Federalist and Butler’s Analogy. Declamations, forensics, and themes were required the first two terms.

The senior table of private exercises included:

Morning, Monday—Friday Mathematics and Chemistry 1st term and half 2nd term.
Moral and Political Philosophy half 2nd term and 3rd term.
Forenoon, Monday—Wednesday Astronomy 1st term.
Monday and Wednesday Theology 2nd term to April.
Thursday Forensics or Themes 1st and 2nd terms.
Afternoon, Monday—Thursday Moral and Political Philosophy 1st term.
Intellectual Philosophy 2nd term to April.

See Harvard Annual Cat., 1820.

Wednesday. September 15th. IX. CFA Wednesday. September 15th. IX. CFA
Wednesday. September 15th. IX.

Arose, day extremely warm, indeed the three last have been as hot as any part of the summer. We feel it the more too, as it so immediately follows extremely cold weather for the season. I did nothing this morning from languor and as my mother was going to Boston, I determined to take advantage of the conveyance to go as far as Neponset. I played billiards here for a great while but with less relish than usual. My feelings within these two days past have become extremely irritable and my nerves very weak. I do not know how it arose, but I 325spoke snappishly to the family and was surly. It is exceedingly unpleasant to be conscious that you are disagreable and not be able to avoid it. Suffice it to say that I became tired of billiards much sooner than I have any other day since I have been here.

I therefore directed my course home at a little after three having lost my dinner. The walk was exceedingly hot, the sun being in his power yet. I met my father and uncle going to the Governor’s1 to dine, my father appeared to be surprised. I found a surprising difference in myself today and other days, I was weak and very much fatigued at what usually is nothing at all. Indeed I was obliged to rest once and lie down before I got home. Having arrived I found myself in no condition to do any thing so I neglected the writing of my Journal today. My head throbbed painfully and my nerves were in such a state that my arms and feet shook when taken from their support. Indeed I have seldom felt more uncomfortably. I tried to take a little quiet but the children put my rest to flight once or twice, and excited my nerves as much as ever. I did manage however in the course of the Evening to become more composed, although I had to act with some feverish symptoms. Indeed I became somewhat alarmed being afraid I should have an attack similar to the one two years ago.

I sat with my Grandfather all the Evening. He asked me some questions concerning the match between George and Mary, he hardly seems satisfied with it, as I believe he had fixed his heart on a connexion with the Quincys. A thing which would receive more opposition on our part. My mother did not return until near nine and the rest of the family dropped in at intervals. I retired soon, took warm water for my feet and tried to sleep but I could not succeed. IX.


William Eustis.