Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Saturday 9th. CFA Saturday 9th. CFA
Saturday 9th.

Morning, returned to town with Mr. Brooks who was very kind and pleasant. On my return, I received a letter from my Aunt Smith1 in a strain dismal enough, but still giving me some assurances of the condition of my Mother. I feel incredibly easier since I have heard this. My father suffers as I thought he would, the tree has felt the lightning, the branches only have materially suffered, I hope. The trunk 375however feels the blow. Dr. Welsh called to see me with a message from Harriet. They are in misfortune as Thomas and John are ruined.2 This news came yesterday and astonished me much. I am very sorry for them both. Morning passed in reading Law though my mind is still unable to fix itself. Afternoon, I went to see Harriet, and to obtain some of my brother’s papers which I wish to arrange a little. She asked me to draw a Deed which I did to convey the Furniture of the House to her. But it was not executed though she gave me the trouble of going all the way up there in the evening about it. I remained in my brother’s room looking over his things and talking of them all evening, and did not return home until after ten.




Thomas Welsh Jr., Harvard 1798, a lawyer, and John Adams Welsh, a merchant, had suffered a severe financial reverse. See entry for 6 July, below.

Sunday 10th. CFA Sunday 10th. CFA
Sunday 10th.

Morning cloudy with showers of rain. I rode to Medford. The country looking beautiful. The grass has just attained that vivid green which it possesses upon first growing and which the novelty and the short time it remains make peculiarly refreshing to the eye. Mr. and Mrs. Brooks were exceedingly kind to me and I felt almost as if I was at home. I am grieved to see how she looks. Mrs. Everett came in the afternoon and drank tea. On the whole, this was a very pleasant day.

Monday. 11th. CFA Monday. 11th. CFA
Monday. 11th.

Returned to town in a cold wind and not very pleasant day. Found letters from my father and John.1 The latter at New York, expected to see me but I was not there. My engagements have been such that I am glad I did not go on. It would have been very inconvenient to me, and have involved a return to Washington which I do not desire. I am more usefully employed here in looking over and arranging my brother’s papers, which occupied me all day. My father’s letter was more staid and sedate but still in great distress. I succeeded in arranging George’s Accounts a little more clearly and hope now to see my way out. In the evening, a few Numbers of the Spectator. Rain again.


JQA expressed thanks for CFA’s “truly filial offer of service” and promised to avail himself of it “hereafter, in such manner as may most comport with your own inclinations and intentions” (JQA to CFA, 6 May 1829, Adams Papers). The letter from JA2 is missing.

Tuesday. 12th. CFA Tuesday. 12th. CFA
Tuesday. 12th.

Morning at the Office. Weather cool and clear. Received a letter 376from my Mother in low spirits but on the whole calculated to relieve me. I was again engaged in reviewing my poor brother’s papers which fatigued me exceedingly and I have determined to do no more until my father directs. Indeed I see little or nothing more to be done. The disorder is such as cannot be unravelled and all that can be done is to begin anew. I wrote an answer to my Mother in the Afternoon and stopped the subscription to the Essex Register for George. Read a little of Clarendon and of the Spectator in the evening.