Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Friday. 20th. CFA Friday. 20th. CFA
Friday. 20th.

Continuation of fine weather to pay us for our rainy month. Morning at the Office reading Kent’s Commentaries and examining the doctrine of Calvin’s case, in Coke’s reports and a case in Cowper, in order to reply to the last letter of my father.1 Tolerably occupied. Afternoon, Executive Record, finished my Novel and was engaged in arranging my documents of the last Session. Evening, a walk around the Common, moon very brilliant.

249 1.

To counteract CFA’s doubts as to the legal basis for the colonists’ protests against British taxation, JQA advised his son to study the famous case of Calvin v. Smith (6 Jac. banco regis, fo. 1), where it had been held that the people of Ireland were not bound by an act of the English Parliament, in which they were not represented (JQA to CFA, 13 June 1828, Adams Papers). CFA replied with a decision of Lord Mansfield, given in Henry Cowper’s Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Court of King’s Bench (1783), p. 208: “A country conquered by the British arms becomes . . . necessarily subject to the legislature, the parliament of Great Britain” (CFA to JQA, 24 June 1828, Adams Papers).

Saturday. 21st. CFA Saturday. 21st. CFA
Saturday. 21st.

Morning at the Office. I know not what it is which makes me so sleepy now but I find it impossible to awake before a certain time in the morning. This compels me to write my letters at the Office instead of at my room. I was otherwise very much hurried this morning in my letter to my Mother1 which was unusually short. Went into Court and listened to some Opinions. Saw George who was much distressed by a communication from Mr. Quincy of a kind very ill judged and I took some pains to counteract it. Went to see Abby at Mrs. Frothingham’s which I succeeded in on the second attempt. Dined there with Mr. and Mrs. Brooks, a Mrs. Blanchard and Abby. After dinner, rode with Abby to Watertown to see Edward Brooks and his wife. Took tea there. The situation is beautiful and they seem to live happily but they are more in themselves than almost any persons I ever saw. Little communion with others. Returned to town by nine o’clock. Pleasant evening ride.



Sunday 22nd. CFA Sunday 22nd. CFA
Sunday 22nd.

Arose quite late. Went up to see George at his room and found him quite recovered from his trouble. He has been re-assured this time and I hope it will be some time before he has to endure another such affair. Dined with him and spent the larger part of the day with him. De Grand called to see him and we had some conversation upon the politics of the Country. He is dissatisfied. More conversation at dinner with Thos. Welsh who exerted himself considerably. Returned to my room to write Journal and in the evening, went to Mrs. Frothingham’s to see Abby. But there was a great deal of Company and it put me out of humour.

Monday. 23rd. CFA Monday. 23rd. CFA
Monday. 23rd.

Morning at the Office reading Kent’s Commentaries. Found them dull and myself sleepy. Heard of the death of James Perkins, the 250richest man of his age in Boston.1 No loss however. After dinner, occupied in copying Executive Record, and finished Voltaire’s Louis 15th. Looked a little into the question arising out of the Revolution which is now in agitation between my father and myself and read two of Mr. Clay’s Speeches. Evening with Abby at Mrs. Frothingham’s. Her friends Julia Gorham and Anne Carter were there.


James Perkins, Harvard 1809.