Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Saturday 8th. CFA Saturday 8th. CFA
Saturday 8th.

Morning occupied before breakfast in writing to my Mother.1 After breakfast went down to hear the result of the meeting of Congress but no news came. The mail had been delayed for the first time. I then called at Mrs. Frothingham’s to see Abby and after a half an hour, I returned to the Office where I passed the day without doing much 191which could be called useful. My case went on but on the whole a good deal of time was wasted. At five I went to Mrs. Frothingham’s to go out in the Carriage of Mr. B. to Medford. Mr. Brooks, Mrs. Everett, Abby and I went out. The night was very dark and rainy as the whole week has been. Arrived safe and felt dull after I got there.


Letter missing.

Sunday 9th. CFA Sunday 9th. CFA
Sunday 9th.

Mr. Frothingham who came out to preach this morning at Medford brought the news of the election of Speaker and the President’s Message. The opposition party have triumphed and this is a severe blow upon the prospects of the present administration.1 My own opinion is that their fate is decided and that all the rest will be nothing but a fiery struggle against it. And our own prospects are gloomy beyond description. I attended Meeting in the afternoon but did not think much of the Sermon. My ideas were elsewhere. In the evening I talked with Abby.


On 3 December Andrew Stevenson of Virginia, with the support of Martin Van Buren, defeated John W. Taylor, of New York, in the contest for the speakership of the House of Representatives. “There is a decided majority of both Houses of Congress in opposition to the Administration,” JQA noted, “a State of things which has never before occurred under the Government of the United States” (JQA, Diary, 29 Nov. and 3 Dec. 1827).

Monday 10th. CFA Monday 10th. CFA
Monday 10th.

Returned to town with Mr. Brooks. Went to George’s Office1 and had much conversation with him. If this change has no other good effect, it may save him, and this is worth the fall. Received a high souled letter from my Father which did me good. Read the last paragraph for George’s benefit.2 The remainder of the day, I was occupied in making up my case for Court which was held in the evening. I argued it to the best of my ability.3 After it, Richardson and I went and had a little Supper of Oysters. Weather still very bad.


GWA’s office was at 23 Court Street. See JA, Diary and Autobiography , 2:63–64.


JQA wrote that in the trials ahead he would “feel and fear little for himself so long as he can rely upon the good conduct of his children” (JQA to CFA, 2 Dec. 1827, Adams Papers).


CFA’s moot court case concerned the right of an enemy alien to sue in the courts of the United States. Holding that there was no such right, he was unable to convince any of the judges, and afterwards he discovered that Chancellor James Kent had “decided the question against me on my own law and authorities” (CFA to JQA, 25 Dec. 1827, Adams Papers; CFA, Law Miscellanies, M/CFA/17, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 311).