Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

169 Monday. 8th. CFA Monday. 8th. CFA
Monday. 8th.

My spirits were unusually low this morning and it was very difficult for me thoroughly to account for it. Perhaps it might have arisen from an idea that my want of occupation and listless way of life at Medford created an appearance of dependance upon others which was revolting to my pride. Much as I love Abby I could not depend upon her father. It would break me down. Perhaps it would be impossible for me strictly to analyse my feelings. But I have such, and the causes of them are not yet quite fully open to me. The day was passed in close attendance at the Office and I read much and profitably. In the evening I amused myself in reading over Abby’s Letters to me and arranging them in a place of more safety, and I passed an hour in writing Executive Record thus recommencing the practice at Washington—although I much doubt whether it will be possible for me to be quite so regular now as I was when there.

Tuesday. 9th. CFA Tuesday. 9th. CFA
Tuesday. 9th.

Passed the morning at the Office. Mr. Webster invited me to dine with him. Company. Captain Basil Hall of the Royal Navy, and his Lady,1 Mr. Geo. Ticknor, and his lady, Mr. and Mrs. Hale,2 Mr. Bancroft, Geo. Blake, Mr. F. C. Gray and myself. The first named gentleman, to whom this dinner was given, is a man who has distinguished himself by publishing some travels, and has been so much praised in consequence that he comes here now to try his hand upon this Country. His manners are not first-rate although he seems an intelligent man. I was much pleased with Mrs. Hale. Ticknor was always my aversion. Evening at home.


Basil Hall (1788–1844), the British naval officer who had already published accounts of his travels in Asia and South America, made no mention of Daniel Webster’s dinner, or of CFA, in his Travels in North America, 1829, but Mrs. Hall, in a letter of 9 October 1827, refers to “Mr. Charles Adams (a son of the President)” and describes Webster’s dinner arrangements as “much better, according to our notions, than what we have before seen in this country” (The Aristocratic Journey: Being the Outspoken Letters of Mrs. Basil Hall, ed. Una Pope-Hennessy, N.Y., 1931, p. 87).


Presumably Nathan Hale (1784–1863), the editor of the Boston Daily Advertiser, and his wife, Sarah Preston (Everett) Hale, the sister of Edward Everett ( DAB ).

Wednesday. 10th. CFA Wednesday. 10th. CFA
Wednesday. 10th.

Morning at the Office. Afternoon also, making quite famous progress. Rainy weather. Have been obliged to defer my visit to Edward Brooks in consequence. In the evening I went to Mrs. Cruft’s. A small 170party of her immediate relatives, and consequently not very agreeable. George went with me. He is in some measure resuming his regular habits again, much to my satisfaction. I walked home with Miss Harriet Welsh and talked much about him.