Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Sunday 25th. CFA Sunday 25th. CFA
Sunday 25th.

The children have made me wish myself in Boston more than once. Indeed to a man of my old habits, it is the last trial. My love for Abby is great indeed to induce me to face this and the Winter’s cold together at Medford. And yet she is the only one of the family free from care and able to resist the appalling effects of the weather upon the spirits of the rest, and like a really noble girl she is determined to immure herself here in the performance of this duty. But I cannot help thinking it a very mad project to remain out here. Attended Meeting in the Afternoon and heard Mr. Upham.1 Not much, I thought. In the evening, a great deal of conversation with Abby.


Charles W. Upham, the Congregational minister at Salem ( Mass. Register, 1827, p. 110).

Monday 26th. CFA Monday 26th. CFA
Monday 26th.

Returned to Boston with Mr. Brooks. Morning at the Office. My spirits sink almost insensibly, certainly against my will when I find myself with a prospect of being so long without seeing Abby. In the afternoon Richardson called upon me and passed the afternoon at my room. Our conversation was very desultory. In the evening I attended the Moot Court and sat as a Judge.1 We had an amusing discussion afterwards upon the propriety of repealing the Law making Stockholders liable in corporations for the amount of their debts, and some points of order. Richardson and I afterwards adjourned to a Supper of Venison, and I returned rather late.


The made-up case concerned a minor who failed to pay a note he had given to cover his board while at Harvard. CFA as judge held “the capability of an Infant to contract in writing for necessaries (and no further) as fully established by the cases cited by the Counsel at Bar” (CFA, Law Miscellanies, M/CFA/17, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 311).

Tuesday. 27th. CFA Tuesday. 27th. CFA
Tuesday. 27th.

Wrote to my father according to custom, and in reply to a letter received yesterday from him. Morning at the Office and again in the afternoon. I went to see the Statue of Washington by Chantrey1 which is just raised in the State House. It disappointed me very agreeably as I had been dissatisfied with the print. I do not know whether to approve entirely of it’s location. I was this evening invited to Mrs. Derby’s2 and had accepted, but as the time drew near I felt it impossible to go without Abby, and so after an hour’s indecision concluded to stay at home.


Francis Legatt Chantrey (1781–1841), the English sculptor ( DNB ).


Presumably the widow of Elias Hasket Derby (1766–1826), the former Lucy Brown ( DAB ).

Wednesday. 28th. CFA Wednesday. 28th. CFA
Wednesday. 28th.

Morning at the Office. Nothing new of any importance. Studied but not with effect. In the afternoon copied some of the Lecture on Practice. Went with George to the Theatre in Common Street. The first play was the Wonder or a Woman keeps a Secret by Mrs. Centlivre.1 It is tolerably well performed. But my principal object in going was to see the French Opera Dancers who are here.2 I was much delighted. The music here is fine. There is such a union of all attractive circumstances in this display, that it is not wonderful that the senses of many 188become bewildered. It is a new thing that a Boston audience can bear them. But the world wags and we change. Afterpiece, the Romp, which I have heard often but still admire the music.


This English comedy was by Susanna Centlivre.


The French Company of the New Orleans Theater had made its New York debut in July, presenting French opera and vaudeville, with dancing (Odell, Annals N.Y. Stage , 3:252–253).