Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Thursday May 24th. CFA Thursday May 24th. CFA
Thursday May 24th.

Morning as usual. Occupied very much all day. I employed the afternoon in writing the final copy of the letter to Mr. Brooks, of which 132I took a Copy for myself.1 This is a matter which I am delighted to get over, but I shall wait the answer with some doubt. It is an exposition of my situation so far as I am able to judge of it. I did not send it today. In the evening Mr., Mrs. Frye, Miss Buchanan and the Miss Roberdeaus spent the evening here, which was very much as usual.


Writing to his future father-in-law, CFA tried to answer objections which he thought might be made to his engagement to Abigail. He admitted having proposed precipitously, but “Time, want of communication, no acquaintance with the friends she confided [in], and . . . the rumor of assiduous rivals were ideas . . . constantly . . . before my imagination. . . .” As to his ability to support a wife, CFA candidly reviewed his financial, prospects. JQA’s fortune was “tolerably handsome but of a nature not very serviceable to himself”; if defeated in the approaching presidential election, he would be obliged to bear the expense of setting up a new domestic establishment at Quincy. In that event, all his sons would have to make financial sacrifices; “for myself,” CFA declared, “I am sure that I would be the last person to wish to trouble him at a time when he would require any thing but annoying solicitation.” To quiet fears that he might follow the family tradition and quit the law for politics, CFA wrote that he disliked public life. So long as GWA continued in politics, CFA would be content with his profession. Should his brother fail, however, CFA might feel compelled to seek public office, so that the character of the Adams “name should not be said to deteriorate in the generation to which I belong” (CFA to P. C. Brooks, 24 May 1827, LbC, Adams Papers).

Friday May 25th. CFA Friday May 25th. CFA
Friday May 25th.

Morning as usual. No letter from Abby. I have forgotten to mention that George had lost his seat in the Legislature which will probably affect his spirits. Only eight of thirty chosen.1 I went to fish but without any sport today. I finished the copy of Mr. B.’s letter and also wrote one to Abby, which were sent. In the evening at home alone as the family were out.


See entry for 16 May, above.

Saturday May 26th. CFA Saturday May 26th. CFA
Saturday May 26th.

Morning spent in a fishing excursion without any sport and from which I did not return without having gained a head-ache. I re-commenced my baths this morning. Received a pleasant letter from Abby, but I slept almost all the afternoon. I find my eyes for the first time much affected.

Sunday. May 27th. CFA Sunday. May 27th. CFA
Sunday. May 27th.

Occupied as usual upon Sundays. Filing Newspapers and reviewing the deficiencies of the week but my eyes prevented my devoting much attention to supplying them. In the afternoon I wrote a letter to Richardson1 and read a part of the last voyage of Captn. Cook. This 133is a new field to me and displays some of the most interesting fields for observation of which I can imagine, although heretofore it has been but little examined into. Evening with the family.