Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Monday. 1st December. CFA Monday. 1st December. CFA
Monday. 1st December.

Morning at the Office and in the Supreme Court. Little or nothing was done however of interest there. I had not much leisure to do any thing else, but in the afternoon made it up in reading my American History. Mr. Eddy, the Clerk of the Corporation, this day effected for me the transfer of the shares of the Middlesex Canal Stock. Nothing else happened of interest. In the evening George came to see me at my Office and we had some pleasant conversation until ten o’clock, when upon attempting to go, we found ourselves locked up in the building. 317This was rather disagreeable as a prospect for the night, but we succeeded in drawing the door open by starting the bolts.

Tuesday. 2nd. CFA Tuesday. 2nd. CFA
Tuesday. 2nd.

Morning at the Office and in Court. Received a letter from my father in answer to the one which I wrote myself on the 20th of last month. It is rather giving me an expectation for something more than any thing in itself.1 But I passed much of the day reflecting upon it, when not engaged in the pursuit of my regular avocations. I devoted the evening to answering it, but could not satisfy myself with any thing I wrote.


Acknowledging receipt of “A Yankee Farmer’s” attack and of CFA’s reply (see entries for 18 Nov. and note, and 20 Nov. and note 18 and 20 Nov., and notes, above), JQA asked his son quietly to make a collection of newspapers and pamphlets relating to the Federalists and the Hartford Convention (JQA to CFA, 26 Nov. 1828, Adams Papers).

Wednesday. 3rd. CFA Wednesday. 3rd. CFA
Wednesday. 3rd.

Nearly the whole of this morning was consumed in answering my father’s letter. My reply was a pretty bold explanation of the state of affairs here. I am not altogether convinced of it’s prudence, but as it appeared to me an outline which might do credit to my abilities in my father’s estimation, I decided upon sending it, taking a copy as usual in my Letter book.1 I read a little Law and passed a short time in Court. In the afternoon, was occupied in obtaining from among my books those volumes which contained my Documents.2 My celibacy is likely to be so long that I am tired of waiting for it’s end, and therefore will do as well as I can without being established. In the evening, Percy’s Reliques. Two young ladies, Miss Gannet and Miss Brooks, (not Abi), at the house.


CFA analyzed the reasons why leading Massachusetts Federalists reacted so strongly to JQA’s statement in the National Intelligencer (see entry for 18 Nov., and note, above). Some of them, he pointed out, “had been contributing their strength to support the cause [of JQA’s reelection] and had also gratified themselves by entertaining you with great hospitality when you have occasionally been here. . . . They thought it but a sad return for their famous dinners and more famous Madeira.” Their plan to ostracize JQA from Boston society had now been abandoned, however, and there was a growing feeling that the President had been “unjustly assailed and condemned” (CFA to JQA, 3 Dec. 1828, Adams Papers).


CFA was collecting documents and pamphlets which his father could use in further attacking the Massachusetts Federalist leaders.

Thursday 4th. CFA Thursday 4th. CFA
Thursday 4th.

Morning at the Office and in Court. Finding nothing interesting in the latter place, I read Law. This begins to tire. It is such exceedingly 318disconnected reading that I question very much whether out of the range of the learning one gains by practice, any advantage can be derived from reading it. Afternoon, American Affairs. Evening, finished Percy’s Reliques. These have been amusing though they hardly exercise the mind sufficiently. On my return, finding much Company at home, I took a long walk.