Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Monday 17th. CFA Monday 17th. CFA
Monday 17th.

Rode to Boston in Mr. Brooks’ open Carriage in company with him and Abby. After dressing I took her up in a Chaise at Mrs. Frothingham’s and started on a visit to Weymouth. We stopped at the Mansion in Quincy for a few minutes, and had not started on our journey many minutes, before my horse thought proper to fall and throw me out of the Chaise. Luckily I was not injured, and on my return to my feet, I found Abby still clinging to the Chaise but also uninjured. We were detained some time by this accident, but having obtained another horse and Chaise, we continued our Journey. The Tufts family whom we went to visit are connected with each family in some way or other.1 And as they are persons in a middle condition in life, feel much flattered by little attentions of this kind. We dined and spent the afternoon here. My father and John (who had just returned from Lebanon), Mrs. Adams and Elizabeth coming over to tea. We returned by a quarter past eight to Boston after a ride of terrific anxiety to me, 162and I sincerely returned thanks to God, when I had landed Abby safely at Mrs. Frothingham’s. Indeed I had never until now discovered how much I really loved her, for the idea of injury falling upon her even indirectly through my agency was dreadful. And yet she is to trust all to me! Perhaps futurity has worse in store for her by my means. This constitutes my only unhappiness, but I will trust it to the all powerful Deity. My heart is certainly pure. She behaved most exceedingly well throughout.


For the complicated relationship of the Tufts family with both the Adamses and the Brookses, see Adams Genealogy.

Tuesday. 18th. CFA Tuesday. 18th. CFA
Tuesday. 18th.

I called at Mrs. Frothingham’s to inquire how Abby did. And afterwards went to pay some visits which were due on the account of some invitations which had been refused. This consumed the morning. The afternoon was spent in company with Abby at Mrs. F.’s and the evening at Mrs. P. C. Brooks’. None there but Mr. and Mrs. Frothingham, Mr. and Mrs. Blodget who are staying there. Mr. Belknap, a steady bachelor of sixty and a beau withal,1 Abby and myself. Mrs. B.’s uncle, Mr. Oliver, also came in. I was struck with an appearance of display for so small an affair which I was disposed to think Mrs. B. was extravagant in, but she has not any children and this is a resource in such cases. I walked home to Mrs. F.’s with Abby and then returned to my room.


Possibly John Belknap (1777–1856), a Boston merchant, who was the son of Jeremy Belknap, the historian ( NEHGR , 10 [1856]:192; 31 [1877]:315).

Wednesday. 19th. CFA Wednesday. 19th. CFA
Wednesday. 19th.

I was at the Office in the morning excepting a short call to see Abby. Dined at the Exchange Coffee House with John and Thomas J. Hellen who has come down from Groton for a day or two. He looks badly. We recommended to him to leave Cambridge which he seemed to relish very little. His time has been much wasted in dissipation.1 In the evening I went to Mrs. Frothingham’s and was much entertained. The rain was tremendous all day, and more particularly this evening.


Thomas J. Hellen had entered Harvard in 1825, but during the second term of his sophomore year (March 1827), he was dismissed for six months when Professor Ticknor accused him of “licentiousness.” He left college in the first term of his junior year. (Harvard Archives; and see entry for 9 Dec. Nov. , below.)

Thursday 20th. CFA Thursday 20th. CFA
Thursday 20th.

Rain all day. Morning reading at the Office. Afternoon and evening 163at Mrs. Frothingham’s. Abby has been detained in town by the bad weather.