Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 1

Monday 16th. CFA Monday 16th. CFA
Monday 16th.

Arose this morning very much refreshed although in very low spirits on account of the loss of my trunk, for I had been thinking over all my journal and the destruction of my future plans, of which this book was one. But I was obliged to be patient. The weather had turned into rain. On coming to breakfast I was again thrown into the society of my friend Captain Pedrick, and had a better opportunity of knowing the man than before. The morning was spent at Worcester until the Springfield stage arrived when the Captain and myself got in to come on. He had come yesterday in the mail waggon from Hartford and had arrived very tired and having passed through many dangers of flood and field. He had been tumbled into the water, in the mud and met with various other accidents which he related in an amusing manner.

He is a good natured, good hearted man and had born quizzing from my yesterday’s acquaintance without murmuring. I came near getting into quite a poor business with him, as I began to be severe upon Mr. Gist’s doctrine of steam boats or carriages and laughed at his enthusiasm when he checked me suddenly by a serious belief in his doctrines only that the machinery was not known to Mr. G. as he was not versed in mechanics. He informed me that there was no difficulty in the affair at all leaving me to wonder out why it was not put in practice. The former man said that there was but one difficulty. It would not go, but this man denies that, and although he says it is of immense advantage to mankind, gives us no reason why it is not instantly put in use.

This Pedrick is a very odd and amusing character. Enthusiastic in his ideas, he made himself appear singular. His dress, travelling baggage corresponded. He had three cloaks in the stage, and mineral specimens in great numbers. He was collecting a cabinet, for his son or the lord knows who. He said nothing concerning the establishment of the distillery in St. Petersburgh as I expect he got discouraged.198But appeared very much rejoiced at having recovered an old debt sufficient to pay all his expenses in his journey, which was also unexpected. Mr. Edson of my Senior Class2 renowned for his piety at College was with us also. I was in fine humour or at least affected to be.

At length we arrived in Boston and I got out at Earle’s3 with a heart not so light as it might be but still rather rejoiced at the end of the journey. Took Supper and retired immediately.


See entry for 18 Dec. 1823, and note, above.


This can only be Theodore Edson, who graduated from Harvard in 1822. There is no record of an Edson in CFA’s class.


Presumably Hezekiah Earl’s Coffee House at 24 Hanover Street ( Boston Directory, 1820).

Tuesday 17th. [—Thursday 19th.] CFA Tuesday 17th. [—Thursday 19th.] CFA
Tuesday 17th. —Thursday 19th.

Arose this morning 17th after having spent a very moderately comfortable night, and made a determination not to come here again. On coming downstairs, and walking into the bar room I had the exquisite satisfaction of finding my trunk safely lodged in the corner having come on this morning. This took off a very great weight from my mind as I had been trying to think of a way to become a little more clean, not having changed my dress since Philadelphia. Had it not come I should certainly have been in a quandary for my only plan was to borrow of George. He was not in town however, therefore I should have been obliged dirty as I was to go to Quincy. I immediately ordered the trunk to my room and had the exquisite satisfaction of finding everything in statu quo. I praised the people of Connecticut up to the skies, being fully conscious that at the South I should not have been so fortunate.

I came to breakfast and fell in with a Connecticut man to be sure, being no more or less than Tudor1 who was staying here for a day or two previous to reappearance at Cambridge. We had some pleasant conversation together on the old subjects, and affairs last term. He went to College at twelve o’clock. I went to Dr. Welsh’s and walked about the town. Not much pleased at seeing it again. Indeed it is one of the most melancholy looking and feeling places that I was ever in. Dined at Dr. Welsh’s and had a great deal of conversation with Miss Harriet2 on the subject of George and of Washington in general. In the afternoon I went to Quincy in the Stage. My Uncle had been in town and went out also. This was the first time I had seen him, many others were in the stage who were old acquaintances, but I was not very well delighted at seeing any of them.


At length we arrived and I had to go through the ceremony of saluting all the family, Mrs. Adams, and all who appeared mighty glad to see me. Grandfather does not look so well as formerly and keeps his room almost altogether. Cousin Louisa in deep mourning on account of the death of her mother—which happened about ten days ago.3 Mrs. Clark very well, and George appearing in very good spirits. I affronted Elizabeth4 very much or her mother, by refusing to open my trunk to night. And made Mrs. C. angry because I had no “little box of the size of a half dollar” with me which no body had heard of. In fact they were all of poor humour except George with whom I had a great deal of conversation. Indeed we kept each other awake until very late at night, talking of the different characters and things I had seen on my journey.

For the rest, There is but little more to be said. I spent Wednesday 18th at Quincy in conversation with my Grandfather and George principally.

And on Thursday 19th, I came back to town, whence, I went to Cambridge and had the pleasure of meeting all my old companions and occupants of Lyceum, collected together in the dining room of our house. After the first salutations, we ventured into conversation, both lively and interesting, inquiring as usual, how we had spent our vacations and telling stories of our adventures. Richardson was returned after a sickness which had made every body believe he would be gone from this world but much to our joy we were disappointed. After dinner I entered my room, to take possession of it again for a long turn—after a pleasant, instructive and interesting vacation of about nine weeks.



Henry Samuel Tudor, a senior, of Hartford, Conn. ( Harvard Annual Cat., 1823).


Harriet Welsh (d. 1857), daughter of Dr. Thomas Welsh. See Adams Genealogy.


Louisa Catherine Catharine Smith (1773?–1857), niece of JA and AA, lived at the Old House. Her mother, Catherine Catharine Louisa (Salmon) Smith (1749–1824), had died on 22 January. See Adams Genealogy.


Elizabeth Coombs Adams (1808–1903), daughter of TBA, hereafter referred to as ECA. See Adams Genealogy.