Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 2

Wednesday. July 1st. CFA Wednesday. July 1st. CFA
Wednesday. July 1st.

Morning to town with John, weather extremely rainy and unpleasant. I was occupied almost all day in obtaining some money for my father, which was paid off by the United States, and then investing it in forty three shares of the New England Marine Insurance Company the certificate of which I obtained, and thus by putting my father’s money at once upon interest, preventing his parting with it in a less advantageous manner. Dined with John at the Exchange and after dinner, went up to look at the house destined for me, which I was obliged to do twice as I could not the first time find the Carpenter 397who is to measure my shelves. He at last came and I finished that business. Returned to Quincy the weather clearing off cold. Found there a man who came upon a visit to my father. Curiosity. He was a common Countryman apparently disordered in his intellect, for he gave us some amusing specimens of moderate madness.1 Evening, conversation with my father.


The man’s name was Layton (JQA, Diary, 1 July 1829).

Thursday. 2nd. CFA Thursday. 2nd. CFA
Thursday. 2nd.

Morning to town weather cool but clear. Received a Note from Abby with a long dissertation upon my present which she wants to refuse, a thing I cannot possibly hear of. I answered it forthwith.1 Then to Dr. Welsh’s to obtain some of my Grandfather’s papers which George had. Stopped at Concert Hall to overlook the packing of some things which are purchased for the House at Quincy. My time was thus almost entirely taken up during the morning, and the afternoon was spent in finishing the list of my brother’s Law Books which was done. I then rode to Quincy. Found there Mr. Degrand, who passed the evening.


Both Abigail’s note and CFA’s reply are missing.

Friday 3rd. CFA Friday 3rd. CFA
Friday 3rd.

Morning to town. Occupied as usual. Met Allyne Otis and had some conversation with him, though I felt rather distant. He has grown affected and silly. Received a note from Abby1 asking me to come tomorrow to which I was obliged to say no, as I do not wish to be in the midst of the bustle tomorrow. Mr. D. L. Child called upon me to make some inquiries relative to my late brother’s military accoutrements which he wishes to take. As I hope to get rid of them favourably in this manner, I consented to his trying them though they have not been appraized. I then went to Front Street to see a Mr. Carey, a maker of Tablets,2 but I had my walk for nothing, as I could not find him. In the afternoon, at Dr. Welsh’s, examining my brother’s papers, and taking some to Quincy. I left town this evening, earlier than usual. Evening conversation with my father.




Alpheus Cary and Davis Dickinson were stonecutters, with a shop on Front Street ( Boston Directory, 1829–1830).

Saturday 4th. CFA Saturday 4th. CFA
Saturday 4th.

This is the Anniversary of our Independence and therefore a public 398day. I am not fond of noise and bustle, therefore prefer a quiet residence at home. I had this morning much conversation with my father upon the prospects of the family. John has decided to desert the State, poor George is now no more, and I am the only one who remains to keep the name and the family on our branch at least from destruction. This result I have never before suspected and it presents to me most perplexing circumstances. My own peculiar situation renders the thing trying, because I feel fully aware how slender is my dependence upon life and hope. I have trusted not without bountiful mercy being bestowed upon me, in an all seeing Divinity who can search and guide the ways of man when his own judgment and power is but a bubble. I will do my best and place my reliance for other help upon a higher power.

After an earnest conversation, we walked up to my Uncle’s, there to make some arrangements if possible in regard to the little shares of property belonging to the two girls who are now of age.1 I am anxious to fix it upon them so as to remain a permanent fund bearing interest all their lives. So that they can have no control over the principal either themselves or by their husbands, when they have them. But I am afraid my good project will not succeed. Women seldom feel the value of certain independence. On our return, we crossed over a part of the Farm, the boundaries of which my father appears to be anxious that I should know. How little did I ever think that this would be my lot. Degrand dined here and talked about money. We drank the fourth of July with great spirit. Afternoon quiet. John went to town and did not come out until late.


Under JA’s will, his estate, after certain initial deductions, was to be divided into fourteen parts, to be distributed equally to his two sons, his eleven grandchildren, and his niece, Louisa Catherine Catharine Smith, daughter of AA’s brother William. TBA’s share and the shares of his children were to be held in trust by the executors, Josiah Quincy and JQA, until the children came of age (Bemis, JQA, 2:111–112). Since TBA’s two surviving daughters, Elizabeth Coombs Adams and Abigail Smith Adams, were now of age, JQA was providing for the transfer of their property to them.